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What is Robots.txt File? What are the Different types of bots or Web Crawlers?

Robots.txt is a standard text file is used for websites or web applications to communicate with web crawlers (bots). It is used for the purpose of web indexing or spidering. It will help the website that ranks as highly as possible by the search engines.

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Robots

1. What is robots.txt?

Robots.txt is a standard text file that is used for websites or web applications to communicate with web crawlers (bots). It is used for web indexing or spidering. It will help the site that ranks as highly as possible by the search engines.

The robots.txt file is an integral part of the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) or Robots Exclusion Standard, a robot exclusion standard that regulates how robots will crawl the web pages, index, and serve that web content up to users.

Web Crawlers

Web Crawlers are also known as Web Spiders, Web Robots, WWW Robots, Web Scrapers, Web Wanderers, Bots, Internet Bots, Spiders, user-agents, Browsers. One of the most preferred Web Crawler is Googlebot. This Web Crawlers are simply called as Bots.

The largest use of bots is in web spidering, in which an automated script fetches, analyzes, and files information from web servers at many times the speed of a human. More than half of all web traffic is made up of bots.

Many popular programming languages are used to created web robots. The Chicken Scheme, Common Lisp, Haskell, C, C++, Java, C#, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby programming languages all have libraries available for creating web robots. Pywikipedia (Python Wikipedia bot Framework) is a collection of tools developed specifically for creating web robots.

Examples of programming languages based open-source Web Crawlers are

  • Apache Nutch (Java)
  • PHP-Crawler (PHP)
  • HTTrack (C-lang)
  • Heritrix (Java)
  • Octoparse (MS.NET and C#)
  • Xapian (C++)
  • Scrappy (Python)
  • Sphinx (C++)

2. Different Types of Bots

a) Social bots

Social Bots have a set of algorithms that will take the repetitive set of instructions in order to establish a service or connection works among social networking users.

b) Commercial Bots

The Commercial Bot algorithms have set off instructions in order to deal with automated trading functions, Auction websites, and eCommerce websites, etc.

c) Malicious (spam) Bots

The Malicious Bot algorithms have instructions to operate an automated attack on networked computers, such as a denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by a botnet. A spambot is an internet bot that attempts to spam large amounts of content on the Internet, usually adding advertising links. More than 94.2% of websites have experienced a bot attack.

d) Helpful Bots

The bots will helpful for all customers and companies and make Communication over all the Internet without having to communicate with a person. for example, e-mails, chatbots, and reminders, etc.

Different Types of Bots

3. List of Web Crawlers or User-agents

List of Top Good Bots or Crawlers or User-agents

[php]
Googlebot
Googlebot-Image/1.0
Googlebot-News
Googlebot-Video/1.0
Googlebot-Mobile
Mediapartners-Google
AdsBot-Google
AdsBot-Google-Mobile-Apps
Google Mobile Adsense
Google Plus Share
Google Feedfetcher
Bingbot
Bingbot Mobile
msnbot
msnbot-media
Baiduspider
Sogou Spider
[/php]
[php]
YandexBot
Yandex
Slurp
rogerbot
ahrefsbot
mj12bot
DuckDuckBot
facebot
Facebook External Hit
Teoma
Applebot
Swiftbot
Twitterbot
ia_archiver
Exabot
Soso Spider
[/php]

List of Top Bad Bots or Crawlers or User-agents

[php]
dotbot
Teleport
EmailCollector
EmailSiphon
WebZIP
Web Downloader
WebCopier
HTTrack Website Copier/3.x
Leech
WebSnake
[/php]
[php]
BlackWidow
asterias
BackDoorBot/1.0
Black Hole
CherryPicker
Crescent
TightTwatBot
Crescent Internet ToolPak HTTP OLE Control v.1.0
WebmasterWorldForumBot
adidxbot
[/php]
[php]
Nutch
EmailWolf
CheeseBot
NetAnts
httplib
Foobot
SpankBot
humanlinks
PerMan
sootle
Xombot
[/php]

Note:- If you need more names of Bad Bots or Crawlers or User-agents with examples in the TwinzTech Robots.txt File.

4. Basic format of robots.txt

[php]
User-agent: [user-agent name]
Disallow: [URL string not to be crawled]
[/php]

The above two lines are considered as a complete robots.txt file. one robots file can contain multiple lines of user agents names and directives (i.e., allows, disallows, crawl-delays, and sitemaps, etc.)

It has multiple sets of lines of user agent’s names and directives, which are separated by a line break for an example in the below screenshot.

user-agent are separated by a line break and its Comment

Use # symbol to give single line comments in robots.txt file.

5. Basic robots.txt examples

Here are some regular robots.txt Configuration explained in detail below.

Allow full access

[php]
User-agent: *
Disallow:

OR

User-agent: *
Allow: /
[/php]

Block all access

[php]
User-agent: *
Disallow: /
[/php]

Block one folder

[php]
User-agent: *
Disallow: /folder-name/
[/php]

Block one file or page

[php]
User-agent: *
Disallow: /page-name.html/
[/php]

6. How to create a robots.txt file

Robots files are in text format we can save as text (.txt) Formats like robots.txt in editors or environments. See the example in the below screenshot.

robots file save as in .txt formats

7. Where we can place or find the robots.txt file

The website owner wishes to give instructions to web robots. They place a text file called robots.txt in the root directory of the webserver. (e.g., https://www.twinztech.com/robots.txt)

This text file contains the instructions in a specific format (see examples below). Robots that choose to follow the instructions try to fetch this file and read the instructions before fetching any other file from the website. If this File doesn’t exist, web robots assume that the web owner wishes to provide no specific instructions and crawl the entire site.

8. How to check my website robots.txt on the web browser

Go to web browsers and enter the domain name in the address bar of the browser and add forward slash like /robots.txt and enter and see the file details (https://www.twinztech.com/robots.txt). See the example in the below screenshot.

check website robots.txt on the web browser

9. Where we can submit a robots.txt on Google Webmasters (search console)

Follow the below example screenshots and submit the robots.txt on webmasters (search console).

1. Add a new site property on search console-like as below screenshot (if you have a property on search console leave the first point and move to second).

submiting robots.txt on google search console

2. Click your site property and see the new options on screen and select the crawl options on the left side is as shown in the below screenshot.

submiting robots.txt on google search console

3. Click the robots.txt tester option in crawl options is as shown in the below screenshot.

submiting robots.txt on google search console

4. After clicking the robots.txt tester option in crawl options, we can see the new options on screen and click the submit button is as shown in the below screenshot.

submiting robots.txt on google search console

10. Examples of how to block specific web crawler from a specific page/folder

[php]
User-agent: Bingbot
Disallow: /example-page/
Disallow: /example-subfolder-name/
[/php]

The above syntax tells only Bing crawler (user-agent name Bingbot) not to crawl the page that contains the URL string https://www.example.com/example-page/ and not to crawl any pages that contain the URL string https://www.example.com/example-subfolder-name/.

11. How to allow and disallow a specific web crawler in robots.txt

[php]
# Allowed User Agents
User-agent: rogerbot
Allow: /
[/php]

The above syntax tells to Allow the user-agent name called rogerbot for crawling/reading the pages on the website.

[php]
# Disallowed User Agents
User-agent: dotbot
Disallow: /
[/php]

The above syntax tells to Disallow the user-agent name called dot bot for not crawling/reading the pages on the website.

12. How To Block Unwanted Bots From a Website By Using robots.txt File

Due to security we can avoid or block unwanted bots using the robots.txt file. The List of unwanted bots is blocking by the help of robots.txt File.

[php]
# Disallowed User Agents

User-agent: dotbot
Disallow: /

User-agent: HTTrack Website Copier/3.x
Disallow: /

User-agent: Teleport
Disallow: /

User-agent: EmailCollector
Disallow: /

User-agent: WebZIP
Disallow: /

User-agent: WebCopier
Disallow: /

User-agent: Leech
Disallow: /

User-agent: WebSnake
[/php]

The above syntax tells to Disallow the unwanted bots or user-agents names for not crawling/reading the pages on the website.

See the below screenshot with examples

Disallow the unwanted bots

13. How to add Crawl-Delay in robots.txt file

In the robots.txt file, we can set Crawl-Delay for specific or all bots or user-agents

[php]
User-agent: Baiduspider
Crawl-delay: 6
[/php]

The above syntax tells Baiduspider should wait for 6 MSC before crawling each page.

[php]
User-agent: *
Crawl-delay: 6
[/php]

The above syntax tells all user-agents should wait for 6 MSC before crawling each page.

14. How to add multiple sitemaps in robots.txt file

The examples of adding multiple sitemaps in the robots.txt file are

Sitemap: https://www.example.com/sitemap.xml
Sitemap: https://www.example.com/post-sitemap.xml
Sitemap: https://www.example.com/page-sitemap.xml
Sitemap: https://www.example.com/category-sitemap.xml
Sitemap: https://www.example.com/post_tag-sitemap.xml
Sitemap: https://www.example.com/author-sitemap.xml

The above syntax tells us to call out multiple sitemaps in the robots.txt File.

15. Technical syntax of robots.txt

There are five most common terms come across in a robots file. The syntax of robots.txt files includes:

User-agent: The command specifies the name of a web crawler or user-agents.

Disallow: The command giving crawl instructions (usually a search engines) to tell a user-agent not to crawl the page or URL. Only one “Disallow:” line is allowed for each URL.

Allow: The command giving crawl instructions (usually a search engines) to tell a user-agent to crawl the page or URL. It is only applicable for Googlebot.

Crawl-delay: The command should tell how many milliseconds a crawler (usually a search engines) should wait before loading and crawling page content.

Note: that Googlebot does not acknowledge this command, but crawl rate can be set in Google Search Console.

Sitemap: The command is Used to call out the location of any XML sitemaps associated with this URL.

Note: This command is only supported by Google, Ask, Bing, and Yahoo search engines.

robots.txt

Here we can see the Robots.txt Specifications.

Also Read : How to Flush the Rewrite URL’s or permalinks in WordPress Dashboard?

16. Pattern-matching in robots.txt file

All search engines support regular expressions that can be used to identify pages or subfolders that an SEO wants excluded.

With the help of Pattern-matching in the robots.txt File, we can control the bots by the two characters are the asterisk (*) and the dollar sign ($).

1. An asterisk (*) is a wildcard that represents the sequence of characters.
2. Dollar Sign ($) is a Regex symbol that must match at the end of the URL/line.

17. Why is robots.txt file important?

Search Engines crawls robots.txt File first, and next to your website, Search Engines will look at your robots.txt File as instructions on where they are allowed to crawl or visit and index or save on the search engine results.

Robots.txt files are very useful and play an important role in the search engine results; If you want search engines to ignore or disallow any duplicate pages or content on your website do with the help of robots.txt File.

Helpful Resources:

1. What is the Difference Between Absolute and Relative URLs?

2. 16 Best Free SEO WordPress plugins for your Blogs & websites

3. What is Canonicalization? and Cross-Domain Content Duplication

4. What is On-Site (On-Page) and Off-Site (Off-Page) SEO?

5. What is HTTPS or HTTP Secure?

We are an Instructor's, Modern Full Stack Web Application Developers, Freelancers, Tech Bloggers, and Technical SEO Experts. We deliver a rich set of software applications for your business needs.

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SEO

SEO: What Are The Trends For 2022?

Let us see how SEO has been changing so dynamically and what’s in its box of trends for 2022. As the technology takes its flight, so do the marketing strategies and SEO techniques.

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SEO Write For Us (Guest Post)

Given that 51% of all website traffic is derived from organic searches, it is more important than ever to comply with SEO rules. Be it a budding startup, MSME, or a big brand, SEO has been the building brick of the marketing funnel.

As the technology takes its flight, so do the marketing strategies and SEO techniques. The easier a brand adapts to it, the higher are its chances of playing safe in the market. Let us see how SEO has been changing so dynamically and what’s in its box of trends for 2022.

1. Number one is not the best.

The competitive scenario of the corporate sector has leveraged ads, weighing CTR (Click through rate) over the ranking system.

Even though you may be putting your best efforts into backlinking, inbound strategies, and ranking number one on SERP, all of it goes to waste if visitors don’t click on your content. CTRs are the reality checks of the sales funnel, assessing the conversion rate concerning organic CTR.

SEO practitioners should be vigilant about optimizing titles, meta descriptions, and URLs to match the expected CTRs. Hints from Google and Facebook AdWords and assistance from Eskimoz can make them more productive.

Featured Snippets are the golden gates of escalating organic rankings without actually excelling the SERP. It harnesses 8.6% clicks and gives the much-needed boost in the conversion rate.

2. Google Discover

Google Discover is a personalized social media that is about to get revolutionized in the coming future. Getting into a discovery profile is similar to winning a treasure hunt with 800 million users, entering once, and gaining a regular customer forever.

Ranking algorithms filter out the specified content and select the most suitable ones. These require peculiar moves to fit in the specifications.

Since it’s a mobile-only feature, brands need to optimize their websites accordingly with faster loading speeds, high-quality images, and content with relevant tags, metadata, YouTube videos, and entities. Always check Google’s Knowledge Graph to see your brand’s presence in the discover feed.

SEO Tips to Gain Quality Links

3. Exclusive EAT Ethics

SERP is a systematic process regulated by more than 10,000 search quality experts as per the SQR (Search Quality Rater) guidelines, based on the EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) protocol.

The EAT ethics monitor the credibility and authenticity of the content before making it live on its search engine. Those that fit in most appropriately and gain a healthy quality score are ranked accordingly.

The inclusion of statistics and evidence-based data and linking it with authoritative websites from government and national institutes augment the chances of meeting the EAT requirements.

4. Hail the content

Time may change, competition may increase to 10x, but the content will always remain the original gangster.

A write-up of more than 3000 words is said to achieve 3x traffic and 4x shares; thus, settling the debate between short-form content and long-form articles. Blend it with different forms of content such as videos and audio to captivate readers efficiently.

Collaborating with influencers to create diverse forms of content is the new hack to connect with the customers.

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