Robots.txt is the smaller and plainer file instructing the search engine crawlers on how they crawl across the site. These crawlers are blocking in preventing the Google bots from getting their time wasted on the irrelevant and unimportant pages present on your site. The file needs to be present across the root directory of the site. The SEO Hobart services know well that the main aim of the robot.txt is blocking specific web pages present on the site from being displayed on the search engines.
These pages show up in the search results with the content that does not gets displayed. It is being used to block the media files, including images, infographics, videos, tables, and other visual content on the search engines.
Robot.txt is known as a highly vital element across SEO. It is initially the primary thing that the crawler checks while visiting your site. It is being used to direct the crawler across various parts of the site, allowing and disallowing them to crawl. The minor mistake through the directive of the file leads to bad crawlability, directly affecting the site’s rankings.
Overview of Robots.txt
Robot.txt uses the general text file format, placing them in the site’s root directory.
It is the topmost directory of the site while you are placing them in this subdirectory where the search engines ignore this.
Irrespective of the massive power, the robots.txt is related to the more accessible documents and the essential robots.txt files created in a matter of time using the Notepad editor.
There are various other modes of achieving a few similar goals where the robots.txt is being used. These independent pages include the robot’s meta tag under the page’s coding.
Let us check out the 7 common mistakes made using robots.txt and help fix them accordingly.
1. Not including the robots.txt file
Irrespective of it being a vital component of site crawling, several site owners are unaware of using these robots.txt files. Those who understand it do not implement it as they fail to understand that it is vital for the SERP ranking. Robots.txt does not directly affect the search engine rankings as they have a distinctive impact on the site’s performance.
The robots.txt files are vital for better site crawling. If you are not implementing this text file, the Google bots do not understand the kind of web pages that are not being crawled and are avoided. Without the robots.txt files, the Google bots start to crawl across each website page. It offers you better control through the web pages you wish to get indexed across the search engines.
2. Not placing them across the root directory
Google detects the file while it is being placed across the root directories. These robot.txt files under the subdirectories or other placements are highly ignored. The robot.txt subfolders make no difference here to your site. Therefore, which is the ideal way to check the files in the root directories?
The single forward slash is preset between the domain of the site and the filename of the robot.txt files. A few content management systems are being stored under the smaller files across the subfolders at default. You need to manually get the files removed from the root directories.
3. Using wildcards improperly
The dollar and the asterisk symbols are the wildcards being supported by the robot.txt files. The improper use of these wildcards places a reasonable restriction on the massive selection of the site. If you misplace these asterisks across the robot.txt, it may start blocking access for the robots. It is the perfect way to avoid those wildcards significantly. If you use them, ensure that you place them correctly.
4. Disallowing robots.txt
The standard error often made by the site owners is using the disallows to help block content on the site. It is done through the canonicals and not the robots.txt. The problem happens while Dev and related CMS developers face hardships in adding the custom canonicals to the site. Blocking the search crawlers from indexing and crawling the webpages can help use these robots.txt files as the other path to canonicals. Even a more minor mistake in this kind of file can help block these search bots from crawling the vital pages of the site.
5. Addition of the attributes of no-index
It is the most typical issue in the older sites. Google had announced that it does not accept the attributes of the no-index present in the robots.txt files. Google had seen it ignored the lines of no-index and getting your web page indexed across the search engines from then.
If they’re in an old site with no-indexing features in the robots.txt files, these are the pages visible across the search results. The only way to resolve this issue is by implementing a different method for no-indexing. The robot’s meta tag is a sound alternative. Simply start to add them at the header of the webpage you wish to prevent the Google bots from indexing.
6. Forgetting about the sitemap URL
The URL for the sitemap is a mandatory inclusion in the robots.txt files for SEO, and these URLs are the initial thing the crawlers check to understand the structuring of the site. The omission of the sitemap URL may not be a huge issue since it is not affecting the site’s visibility across the search engines. It is an essential addition to the sitemap for robots.txt for enhanced SEO.
7. Offering access to work-in-progress websites
You can never block those Google bots from accessing the site that is life. It does not mean you allow them to crawl across a site that is not developed. You can implement the disallow instructions to avoid the search crawlers from getting the pages still under construction indexed. It can help in preventing the ordinary public from checking out your site. Ensure that you remove them once you have a developed site.
Your site’s ranking is heavily impacted by the errors made on the robots.txt files; however, these more minor issues are fixed by SEO Hobart services. But if you ignore these mistakes, then the worst can happen!