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?
Robots txt allow disallow
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
The Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) is not exactly a complicated protocol and its uses are fairly limited, and thus it’s usually given short shrift by SEOs. Yet there’s a lot more to it than you might think. Robots.txt has been with us for over 14 years, but how many of us knew that in addition to the disallow directive there’s a noindex directive that Googlebot obeys? That noindexed pages don’t end up in the index but disallowed pages do, and the latter can show up in the search results (albeit with less information since the spiders can’t see the page content)? That disallowed pages still accumulate PageRank? That robots.txt can accept a limited form of pattern matching? That, because of that last feature, you can selectively disallow not just directories but also particular filetypes (well, file extensions to be more exact)? That a robots.txt disallowed page can’t be accessed by the spiders, so they can’t read and obey a meta robots tag … [Read more...] about A Deeper Look At Robots.txt
Today, Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft have come together to post details of how each of them support robots.txt and the robots meta tag. While their posts use terms like “collaboration” and “working together,” they haven’t joined together to implement a new standard (as they did with sitemaps.org). Rather, they are simply making a joint stand in messaging that robots.txt is the standard way of blocking search engine robot access to web sites. They have identified a core set of robots.txt and robots meta tag directives that all three engines support: Google and Yahoo! already supported and documented each of the core directives, and Microsoft supported most of them before this announcement. In their posts, they also list the directives they support that may not be supported by the other engines. For robots.txt, they all support: Disallow Allow Use of wildcards Sitemap location For robots meta tags, they all support: noindex nofollow noarchive nosnippet … [Read more...] about Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft Clarify Robots.txt Support