Directive used to control how search engine bots crawl and index specific web pages.


The X-Robots-Tag is an element of the HTTP header response for a given URL. It is a method used to communicate to search engine bots about the indexing and serving directives for a specific page or a certain type of content. This includes directives such as 'noindex', 'nofollow', or 'noarchive' among others, that instruct search engine bots on how they should or should not interact with the content.

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Usage and Context

X-Robots-Tag is used to provide more granular control over how search engine bots treat different types of content on a website. For instance, you might want certain pages to be indexed, but not archived, or you might want to prevent images on a page from being indexed. This is achieved by specifying the appropriate directives in the X-Robots-Tag in the HTTP header response. This tag can be used in conjunction with, or as an alternative to, the robots meta tag in the HTML of a page.


  1. What is an X-Robots-Tag?

    • An X-Robots-Tag is part of the HTTP header response used to communicate to search engine bots how to handle specific web content. It contains directives like 'noindex' or 'nofollow' that guide the bots' interactions with the content.
  2. How does the X-Robots-Tag impact SEO?

    • The X-Robots-Tag can significantly impact SEO by controlling how search engine bots interact with your content. By setting specific directives, you can guide how your pages are crawled, indexed, and presented in search results.
  3. Where do I place the X-Robots-Tag?

    • The X-Robots-Tag is placed in the HTTP header response for a given URL, not in the HTML of the page. This makes it different from the robots meta tag.
  4. Can I use X-Robots-Tag for specific types of content?

    • Yes, one of the advantages of the X-Robots-Tag is its ability to control directives for specific types of content, such as images or videos, on a page.
  5. Is X-Robots-Tag better than a robots.txt file?

    • Neither is inherently better. X-Robots-Tag offers more granular control, while a robots.txt file provides a way to prevent crawling of entire sections of a site. The best choice depends on your specific needs.


  1. Granular Control: Provides more precise control over how different types of content are indexed and served in search results.
  2. SEO Optimization: Allows for improved SEO by effectively guiding search engine bots' interaction with your content.
  3. Flexible Implementation: Can be used alongside or as an alternative to robots meta tags, providing flexibility in your SEO strategy.
  4. Content Type Specific Directives: Offers the ability to set directives for specific types of content like images or videos.
  5. Improved Search Presence: By guiding how your content is crawled and indexed, you can enhance your website's presence in search results.

Tips and Recommendations

  1. Use with Care: Incorrect usage can lead to undesirable SEO outcomes, such as important pages being omitted from search results.
  2. Test Changes: After implementing X-Robots-Tag directives, use tools like Google Search Console to monitor and assess the impact on search performance.
  3. Consult an SEO Expert: If unsure about how to use this feature, consider consulting an SEO expert to avoid any potential pitfalls.
  4. Keep Up-to-Date: As with all SEO practices, stay current with updates and best practices in the use of X-Robots-Tag.


In conclusion, the X-Robots-Tag is a powerful tool that gives website owners granular control over how search engine bots interact with their content. When used correctly, it can significantly improve a website's SEO performance by guiding the crawling and indexing process. However, misuse can have negative impacts, so it's vital to understand its functionality fully or consult an SEO expert. As with all SEO practices, staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the use of X-Robots-Tag is crucial.