Everyone is looking for that magic trick that can immediately make their website more SEO-friendly. The Robots.txt generator is one tool that is a legitimate hack for improving your SEO.
The robots.txt file is part of the robots exclusion protocol (REP). This is a group of standards that how robots crawl the internet to find relevant content for users. In this article, we talk about what a robot.txt file generator is and how it can be used to make a website more SEO-friendly.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. To understand what is SEO process, we need to first understand the power of SEO. Simply put, SEO or Search Engine Optimization refers to all the activities that help a website appear in the top search results when someone enters a related query on Google.
Say for instance you have an article on decluttering your bedroom that you want users to find. You need to make sure that your article comes up among the top search results every time someone searches “decluttering bedroom” or similar keywords.
Given the number of online searches that happen today, effective SEO work process can actually make or break a business.
There are a number of activities that improve the ranking of your website. These include using the right keywords in your website content, making sure your content is unique and informative, and building backlinks to your webpage from other high-quality websites.
However, most of these activities take time and it is usually several months before you’re actually able to see results.
Therefore, SEO experts are always looking for hacks- quick fixes that can improve your search engine ranking radically in a short span of time.
Unfortunately, many of these activities (for example, spammy backlinks) can backfire and actually penalize your ranking at some point in the future. This is known as black-hat SEO.
However, there is one great SEO hack that is really simple to do but can improve your ranking by leaps and bounds. This is using the online robots.txt generator.
The best part when you create robots.txt generator is that you don’t need to know how to write code to be able to do this. As long as you have the source code, you should be able to do this easily.
What is a robots.txt file generator and why is it important?
Search engine robots crawl and index web pages to find relevant information and show users the most relevant search results.
The robots.txt file generator helps create a text file which tells search engine robots which pages on your site to crawl and which to ignore. Here’s what a robots.txt file looks like:
The asterisk implies that the robots.txt generator will apply to all the search engine robots that crawl the site. The slash after “Disallow” means that the robot will ignore all the webpages mentioned in this category.
Why is a robots.txt generator a crucial part of SEO?
It’s really crucial to creating robots.txt generator because it can instruct the web robot to ignore certain webpages. Why would that be important though?
It’s because Google has something known as a crawl budget. The crawl budget is “the number of URLs Googlebot can and wants to crawl.” This means if the Googlebot takes too much time to crawl through all your webpages to find relevant information, it will penalize you in the search results.
If the Googlebot has a limited crawl budget for your website, then you need to make sure it uses that budget to crawl only your most useful and relevant web pages.
The fact of the matter is, if the Googlebot crawls your web pages, chances are it will inadvertently crawl low-value URLs. This will result in a lower ranking.
Here are some of the major categories that low-value URLs fall into, starting with the most important one:
(i) Faceted navigation and session identifiers
(ii) On-site duplicate content
(iii) Soft error pages
(iv) Hacked pages
(v) Infinite spaces and proxies
(vi) Poor quality and spam
If you have too many low-quality URLs, then server resources will be wasted on them, which will divert the attention of the Googlebot from useful content. This will result in a lower ranking in the search results.
With a robots.txt file generator, you can create a robots.txt file that tells the Googlebot which webpages to ignore. This way, the search engine robots focus only on the relevant and high-quality URLs, resulting in a higher search engine ranking.
How do you create a robots.txt file?
In order to create an SEO-friendly robots.txt file, you first need to see if you have an existing file. To do simply type your URL in your browser followed by /robots.txt. You will see one of the three things:
(i) A robots.txt file
(ii) An empty robots.txt file
(iii) A 404 error
In the first case, you need to locate the file in your site’s root directory and find the editable version. Make sure you remove the text but don’t delete the file itself. This is where you will find the robot.txt file:
If you need to build the file from scratch, use a plain text editor like Notepad for Windows or Texteditor for Mac.
Here’s how you create a basic robots.txt generator:
First, we type User-agent followed by the asterisk. With the asterisk, you indicate that web robots can crawl every web page.
After that, you type disallow.
At a basic level, this was a robot.txt generator looks like.
Some examples of how you can apply the robots.txt generator to improve SEO
Here are some of the best ways to use the online robots.txt generator to improve your SEO. Of course, the method that will work for you will depend on the context of your site.
Use the online robots.txt generator by asking search engine robots not to crawl parts of your site that are unavailable to the public
Pages like wp-admin are for your personal use and are not displayed to the public at all. One of the best ways to maximize the search engine’s crawl budget is by making sure these pages are not displayed to the public.
You can also disallow specific pages that you feel are low-quality URLs
To do so, simply enter the part of the URL that comes after the .com after the disallow. Put it between two forward slashes.
An example of a page that you would disallow would include duplicate pages where one is printer-friendly. Another example would be pages you are using to split test the design where the content is the same.
Some thank you pages are also accessible through search engines. Blocking these pages means only people who fill the lead generation form can see them. Here’s what this would look like:
At the end of the day, you will have to exercise your judgement to figure out which pages to disallow.
Use the noindex directive
Even if you disallow a page, Google will still index it. To prevent this we use the noindex directive. This makes sure Google neither visits nor indexes the page. Here’s what it looks like:
Use the no follow directive
A nofollow directive is similar to a nofollow link in that it instructs web robots not to crawl the links on the web page. However, the nofollow directive is not really a part of the robots.txt generator. So you need to go to the source code of the page where you want to add the nofollow directive and paste this in between the head tags :
<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow”>
Here’s what it looks like:
This is how you can add both the noindex and the no follow directives:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,nofollow”>
If you’re stuck on anything or need further details about something, you can refer to this video on how to create robots.txt generator.
The robots.txt generator is one of those quick hacks that can actually make a sustainable difference to your website SEO. Plus, you don’t really need to have programming expertise to be able to create and use a robots.txt file.
If you use the tips outlined in this article, you should be able to optimize your website for Google and other search engines fairly easily. If you want to improve your skills as an inbound marketer, doing a comprehensive digital marketing course which teaches SEO from scratch may be a good idea.