Robots.txt files are often mentioned as being an important foundation of a search friendly web site. To site owners and small businesses who are new to search marketing, the robots.txt file can sound daunting. In reality, it's one of the fastest, simplest ways to make your site just a little more search engine friendly. (SEG Bootcamp articles are no-frills content designed to bring small business owners up to speed on the concepts and techniques needed to market their businesses online.) What is Robots.txt? Robots.txt is a simple text file that sits on the server with your web site. It's basically your web site's way of giving instructions to search engines about what how they index your web site. Search Engines tend to look for the robots.txt file when they first visit a site. They can visit and index your site whether you have a robots.txt file or not; having one simply helps them along the way. All of the major search engines read and follow the instructions in a robots.txt … [Read more...] about Search Marketing Bootcamp: Robots.txt File
Robots txt file
Believe it or not, I am not a huge fan of placing robots.txt files on sites unless you want to specifically block content and sections from Google or other search engines. It just always felt redundant to tell a search engine they can crawl your site when they will do so unless you tell them not to.Google's JohnMu confirmed in a Google Webmaster Help thread and even recommended to one webmaster that he/she should remove their robots.txt file "completely."John said:I would recommend going even a bit further, and perhaps removing the robots.txt file completely. The general idea behind blocking some of those pages from crawling is to prevent them from being indexed. However, that's not really necessary -- websites can still be crawled, indexed and ranked fine with pages like their terms of service or shipping information indexed (sometimes that's even useful to the user :-)).I know many SEOs feel it is mandatory to have a robots.txt file and just have it say, User-agent: * Allow: /. Why … [Read more...] about Google: Remove The Robots.txt File Completely
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
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
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?