Understanding the difference between the robots.txt file and Robots Tag is critical for search engine optimization and security. It can have a profound impact on the privacy of your website and customers as well. The first thing to know is what robots.txt files and Robots Tags are. Robots.txt Robots.txt is a file you place in your website’s top level directory, the same folder in which a static homepage would go. Inside robots.txt, you can instruct search engines to not crawl content by disallowing file names or directories. There are two parts to a robots.txt directive, the user-agent and one or more disallow instructions. The user-agent specifies one or all Web crawlers or spiders. When we think of Web crawlers we tend to think Google and Bing; however, a spider can come from anywhere, not just search engines, and there are many of them crawling the Internet. Here is a simple robots.txt file telling all Web crawlers that it is okay to spider every page: User-agent: * Disallow: To disallow all search engines from crawling an entire website, use: User-agent: * Disallow: / The difference is the forward slash after Disallow:, signifying the root folder and everything in it, including sub-folders…
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