What Exactly Are Crawler Directives?

What Exactly Are Crawler Directives?

Crawler directives instruct search engines on how to crawl and index your website. They enable you to:

instruct a search engine not to crawl a page at all;

command a search engine not to utilize a page in its index once it has crawled it;

instruct a search engine whether or not to follow links on that page; and

issue a slew of “minor” directives.

‘Robots Meta Directives,’ often known as ‘meta tags,’ are the most popular crawl directives. Crawlers use these tags as recommendations to choose how to crawl or index your site.

Crawler Directives

Another directive is the robots.txt file, which performs as meta tags. Search engines read these rules and behave accordingly depending on what you want them to do.

On the other hand, crawlers or bots may not always respond to commands. Because they are not programmed to obey these principles rigorously, probably, they will occasionally disregard the code.

Let’s go a little more into each form of crawler directive:

What Exactly Are Robot Meta Directives?

Robot meta directives, often known as robot meta tags, are pieces of code that instruct search engine crawlers to crawl and index your website. These tags are essential for ensuring that the appropriate pages are indexed and shown in search results.

There Are Two Sorts Of Robot Meta Instructions To Be Aware Of.

You may use two sorts of meta directives on your pages to assist search engines in crawling and indexing them. Let’s go through them quickly:

  • Meta Robots Tag

The meta robots tag is the first form of SEO robots tag that you may use. The meta robots tag allows you to manage indexing behaviour per page. You insert this code into your website’s header. The code can look like this:

content=”[parameter]”>meta name=”robots” content=”[parameter]”>

  • X-Robots-Tag

An x-robots-tag is the second sort of robot meta directive you may build. This tag allows you to manage indexing at the page level and individual page items. This element is also used in your website’s header. An example of this tag is as follows:

(“X-Robots-Tag: [parameter]”, true);

Overall, the x-robots-tag is more versatile than the meta robots tag.

There Are 11 Different Sorts Of Parameters To Be Aware Of.

Parameter NameDescription
AllShortcut for index, follow
FollowCrawlers should follow all links and pass link equity to the pages
NofollowSearch engines should not pass any equity to linked-to pages
IndexCrawlers should index the page
NoindexCrawlers should not index a page
NoimageindexCrawlers should not index any images on a page
Max-snippetSets the maximum number of characters as a textual snippet for search results
NoneShortcut for noindex, nofollow
NocacheSearch engines shouldn’t show cached links for this page when it appears in search results
NosnippetSearch engines shouldn’t show a snippet of the page (like a meta description) in the search results
Unavailable_afterSearch engines shouldn’t index a page after the set date

What Exactly Is A Robots.Txt File?

A robots.txt file is a directive that instructs search engine robots or crawlers on navigating a website. Directives serve as commands in the crawling and indexing processes, directing search engine bots such as Googlebot to the appropriate pages. Robots.txt files, which reside in the root directory of sites, are also classified as plain text files. The robots.txt file is located at “www.robotsrock.com/robots.txt” if your domain is “www.robotsrock.com.” Bots use robots.txt files for two purposes:

  • Disallow (block) the crawling of a URL route. The robots.txt file, on the other hand, is not the same as noindex meta directives, which prevent pages from being indexed.
  • Allow crawling through a specific page or subfolder if crawling via its parent has been disabled.

Why Are Robots.Txt Files Used?

Constant crawling of non-essential sites might cause your server to slow down and cause other issues that hinder your SEO efforts. Robots.txt is the answer for controlling when and what bots crawl. One of the ways robots.txt files aid SEO is in processing new optimization actions. When you modify your header tags, meta descriptions, or keyword use, their crawling check-ins register — and effective search engine crawlers rank your website based on positive improvements as quickly as feasible.

You want search engines to detect the changes you’re making when you implement your SEO strategy or publish new content, and you want the results to reflect these changes. If your site’s crawling pace is slow, the proof of your upgraded site may lag. Robots.txt can make your site more organized and efficient, but it will not immediately raise your page’s ranking in the SERPs. They indirectly optimize your site not to incur penalties, deplete your crawl budget, delay your server, or pump the wrong sites with link juice.

What Is The Location Of The Robots.Txt File?

Now that you understand the principles of robots.txt and how to use them in SEO, you should know how to locate a robots.txt file. Entering the domain URL into your browser’s search bar and adding /robots.txt at the end is a simple viewing approach that works for every site. This works because you should always place the robots.txt file in the website’s root directory.

What If The Robots.Txt File Isn’t Visible?

If the robots.txt file for a website does not show, it might be empty or missing from the root directory (which returns a 404 error instead). Check your website’s robots.txt file regularly to ensure you can find it. Crawling setups are frequently handled for you by various website hosting providers, such as WordPress or Wix. You must select if you want the page hidden from search engines.

Robots.Txt Vs. Meta Instructions For Robots

Before proceeding, it is critical to distinguish between robots.txt and robots meta directives. When comparing these two, they may do the same thing –– and to some extent, they do –– but there is one significant difference. Robots.txt specifies how your site’s pages should be crawled and indexed. It’s more of a suggestion for how search engines should proceed. On the other hand, Robots meta directives are more specific in their instructions for crawling and indexing your site.