A text file used by websites to provide guidance to search engine bots about which pages or files the bot can or can't access.


Robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct web robots, typically search engine robots, how to crawl pages on their website. The robots.txt file is part of the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP), a group of web standards that regulate how robots crawl the web, access and index content, and serve that content up to users.

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Usage and Context

The Robots.txt file is used by website owners to control the behavior of search engine bots. This file, located at the root of a website, provides rules for bots to follow when crawling and indexing a site. These rules can include directives to disallow certain pages or sections of a site from being crawled, or to allow all pages to be crawled. The usage of a Robots.txt file is crucial in managing website's SEO as it can help prevent the indexing of duplicate content, control crawl budget, and protect sensitive files or directories.


  1. What is a Robots.txt file in SEO?

    • In SEO, a Robots.txt file is a directive used by website owners to instruct search engine bots on how to crawl and index pages on their website.
  2. Where should the Robots.txt file be placed?

    • The Robots.txt file should be placed in the root directory of your website.
  3. How does Robots.txt work?

    • Robots.txt works by providing rules for search engine bots to follow when they crawl and index a website. These rules can disallow or allow the bot to crawl certain pages or sections of a site.
  4. Can the Robots.txt file block all search engine bots?

    • Yes, a Robots.txt file can block all search engine bots by including a disallow directive for all user-agents.
  5. What happens if a Robots.txt file is missing?

    • If a Robots.txt file is missing, search engine bots will assume that they have full access to crawl and index all pages of the website.


  1. Control over search engine crawling: Allows website owners to control which parts of their site search engine bots can crawl, helping to prioritize important content.
  2. Prevent indexing of duplicate content: Helps prevent search engines from indexing duplicate content, which can harm your site's SEO rankings.
  3. Protection of sensitive files: Allows for the protection of sensitive files or directories by disallowing bots from accessing them.
  4. Crawl budget management: Helps manage your site's crawl budget by limiting bot access to areas of your site that don't need to be indexed.
  5. Improved site performance: By guiding bots away from unimportant pages, you can improve site performance and speed.

Tips and Recommendations

  1. Use specific user-agent directives: When creating your Robots.txt file, use specific user-agent directives for different bots to have granular control over how each bot interacts with your site.
  2. Regularly review and update your Robots.txt file: As your site evolves, your Robots.txt file should as well. Regularly review and update your file to ensure it remains effective and in line with your site's structure and content.
  3. Avoid blocking all bots: While it might be tempting to block all bots to protect your site, doing so can negatively impact your SEO. Instead, focus on directing bots in a way that benefits your site's SEO.
  4. Use a Robots.txt tester tool: Use a Robots.txt tester tool to ensure your file is working as intended. These tools can help identify errors or issues that could impact your site's SEO.


In conclusion, a Robots.txt file is a powerful tool for managing how search engine bots interact with your site. By using this file effectively, you can guide bots in a way that enhances your SEO, protects sensitive information, and improves site performance. Like any tool, it’s most effective when used wisely and regularly reviewed and updated.