robots.txt file is a plain text file that provides instructions to search engine crawlers about which pages or sections of a website should not be crawled and indexed. The file is placed in the root directory of a website and follows a specific format.
The basic format of a
robots.txt file includes two parts:
User-Agent: This line specifies which crawler the instructions in the file apply to. For example, if the line is
User-Agent: Googlebot, the instructions will apply to the Googlebot crawler.
Disallow: This line specifies which pages or sections of the website should not be crawled. For example, if the line is
Disallow: /secret-folder/, the Googlebot crawler will not crawl any pages in the
Disallow lines can be included in a
robots.txt file to provide instructions for multiple crawlers and to block access to multiple sections of the website.
Here is an example of a basic
In this example, the first set of instructions applies to the Googlebot crawler and blocks it from crawling the
/secret-folder/ directory. The second set of instructions applies to the Bingbot crawler and blocks it from crawling the
It's important to note that the
robots.txt file is a suggestion and not a legally enforceable directive. Search engines may choose to ignore the instructions in the file, so website owners should also use other methods to protect sensitive information.