Robot.txt – why it is essential for your SEO and how to create it

The Robot.txt file   is an essential element of website configuration, also having an impact on the SEO positioning of the pages. Let’s see what Robots.txt is, how this file works, why it is important to configure it and how this type of file is created.


What is Robot.txt and how it works

Search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo , to mention only the most prominent, use search robots with which they read web pages and dump their contents into a database; In addition, they recover the links from said pages to other Internet sites. 

The Robots.txt file (also called Robot.txt) is a document that serves to tell these search engines what domain content they can crawl and what they cannot ; The file also provides a link to the sitemap (XML-sitemap) .  

When a search robot visits a page (also known as crawling) , it requests the Robots.txt file from the server: if it exists, it will analyze it and, if this has been possible, it will proceed to read its instructions on indexing the page. site content.

Why do you need to create a Robot.txt file?

The existence or absence of these files has no impact on the operation of the website. The main reason for having a Robots.txt file is to manage the permissions search bots request when they crawl a domain looking for the information they need to index it . 

This means that search engines will crawl and index a website whether the file exists or not, only that if this file exists and contains correct and precise instructions, the bot will skip the pages or content that have been specified . 

Preventing indexing can be interesting to prevent duplicate or old content or versions of certain pages that are optimally formatted for printing from being crawled, for example; Otherwise, these pages could appear in the search engine search results ( SERP ), and thanks to the file this would be avoided.  

How to create a Robot.txt file

You should keep in mind that the file must be a plain text file in ASCII or UTF-8 format , and that bots will be case sensitive , so be careful with the syntax when writing!  

However, you can write the file from scratch or use a plugin (for example, Yoast SEO or Google xml Sitemap ) if you are using a site creation tool like WordPress; You can also use other free online tools such as Robots txt Generator from , Sureoak or Seoptimer .         

It is very important that the tracking delay is specified within the file to avoid overloading the servers . Forcing the server to make many jumps in indexing could slow down page loading in a browser. 

And, finally, before putting it to work, don’t forget to test it with a Robot tester ; Without going any further, Google provides you with one within the Search Console tool . If your file doesn’t work, you could prevent the entire website from being crawled, and obviously that doesn’t interest you.   

Using the Robot.txt file, you can ask search engines not to crawl certain parts of your website and, therefore, not to show them in search results. Always make sure to test the file before using it, to clearly tell the search bot its location, and to avoid making syntax errors.