Google's John Mueller said on Twitter that even if you try to disallow your robots.txt within your robots.txt, it won't impact how Google processes and accesses that robots.txt. John said in response to someone asking if you can disallow your robots.txt, "it doesn't affect how we process the robots.txt, we'll still process it normally." "However, if someone's linking to your robots.txt file and it would otherwise be indexed, we wouldn't be able to index its content & show it in search (for most sites, that's not interesting anyway)," he added. Meaning, Google might not show it in the Google index. Yes, Google does rank robotst.txt files if it has content people are searching for. John did say this in 2012 so it isn't exactly new information. Here are the new tweets on the topic: Forum discussion at Twitter. … [Read more...] about Disallowing Robots.txt In Robots.txt Doesn’t Impact How Google Processes It
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Just like you can sometimes see listings in Google search for URLs that are disallowed, those URLs can also "collect" links in Google search. What this means is that while Google is not authorized to crawl the URL, if people are linking to the URL, Google will and can pick up on those links.That is why you sometimes see search results with snippets that read "No information is available for this page." Google may list the page if (a) the query is specific enough and (b) there is enough links to that page to give Google enough hints that the page is relevant to the query, even with Google not being able to crawl the page to see what content is on the page. Instead, Google uses the links pointing to the page and its anchor text to figure that out, amongst other things.Thus, when Google's John Mueller said on Twitter "If a URL is disallowed for crawling in the robots.txt, it can still "collect" links, since it can be shown in Search as well (without its content though)." John is stating … [Read more...] about Google: Disallowed URLs Can Still Collect Links
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: … [Read more...] about Have You Considered Privacy Issues When Using Robots.txt & The Robots Meta Tag?
Search engines use a computer program known as a bot to crawl and index the Web. A robots.txt file is an instruction manual that tells a bot what can and cannot be crawled on your site. An improperly configured robots.txt file can: Lower your quality scores Cause your ads not to be approved Lower your organic rankings Create a variety of other problems Robots.txt files are often discussed in terms of SEO. As SEO and PPC should work together, in this column, we will examine what PPC users should know about robots.txt files so they do not cause problems with either their paid search accounts or their organic rankings. The AdWords Robot Google uses a bot called “adsbot-Google” to crawl destination URLs for quality score purposes. If the bot cannot crawl your page, then you will usually see non-relevant pages, because Google isn’t being allowed to index your pages, which means they cannot examine the page to determine if its relevant or not. Google’s bot uses a … [Read more...] about What PPC Practitioners Should Know About Robots.txt Files
In the battle between search engines and some mainstream news publishers, ACAP has been lurking for several years. ACAP — the Automated Content Access Protocol — has constantly been positioned by some news executives as a cornerstone to reestablishing the control they feel has been lost over their content. However, the reality is that publishers have more control even without ACAP than is commonly believed by some. In addition, ACAP currently provides no “DRM” or licensing mechanisms over news content. But the system does offer some ideas well worth considering. Below, a look at how it measures up against the current systems for controlling search engines. ACAP started development in 2006 and formally launched a year later with version 1.0 (see ACAP Launches, Robots.txt 2.0 For Blocking Search Engines?). This year, in October, ACAP 1.1 was released and has been installed by over 1,250 publishers worldwide, says the organization, which is backed by the European … [Read more...] about ACAP Versus Robots.txt For Controlling Search Engines