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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, 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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Business

4 SaaS Link Building Tips For Beginners

In reality, link-building is a tough process, especially in the SaaS context. Why? Backlinks for SaaS websites are difficult to come by, and with the rise of new SaaS businesses, this will get more challenging.

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4 SaaS Link Building Tips For Beginners

The most effective techniques to promote your software as a service (SaaS) business and increase organic traffic to your website are content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO).

Note that improving your SEO rankings entails acquiring more high-quality backlinks. Thus, it’s essential to increase the number of backlinks to your SaaS business’s website from authoritative, high-quality websites in order to boost its search engine optimization performance.

In reality, link-building is a tough process, especially in the SaaS context. Why? Backlinks for SaaS websites are difficult to come by, and with the rise of new SaaS businesses, this will get more challenging. Therefore, building links the right way is the key, and you can find out how to plan your own link-building strategy from https://linkflow.ai/saas-link-building/ and other helpful resources.

Link-Building Strategies For SaaS Companies

Regardless of your niche, you may need to actively develop backlinks to your SaaS business in order to get your content discovered, consumed, and, ultimately, attract new clients. Here are ways to do it.

1. Write Guest Posts

Building backlinks and establishing yourself as an authority in your field can be accomplished effectively through guest posting. When you create content that is both original and helpful, other websites may link to it.

Take the website’s domain authority into account when guest posting. It’s recommended that you start with a well-regarded website with a Domain Authority (DA) of 50 or above. In addition, it would be beneficial to search for niche-specific websites interested in your writing.

After discovering a website open to guest posts, your next step is to learn more about the site’s target audience and content before seeking content marketing managers. Also, check to see if there are any guest posting requirements for the site.

However, you should exercise caution in deciding which blogs to publish on. There’s a wide variety of authoritative websites, and the same holds true for blogs.

2. Take Advantage Of Brand Mentions

Utilize your SaaS network to its full potential and make the most of brand-mention opportunities.

Backlink mentions are an excellent approach to making use of the websites, businesses, and services that you discuss in the content you create. Utilize methods such as co-mentioning or mention-me-back to get the advantage from your network.

This is an excellent strategy to obtain backlinks with very little effort on your part.

Link-Building Strategies For SaaS Companies

3. Pitch Link Round Ups

SaaS isn’t the only industry that can benefit from link roundups, but it is one in which they excel.

A link roundup (also known as a link list) is a regularly scheduled set of external links to relevant online content, such as articles, blog posts, and other online resources. Audiences can use them to find new content to read and share. They provide a dependable method for website owners to acquire inbound links.

Creating high-quality content that follows SEO best practices is the first step to being featured on authoritative link roundups.

Content that is educational, thoroughly investigated, and supported by reliable sources has a much better chance of being included in link roundups. The odds of being featured will improve if you establish yourself as a reliable source of high-quality information.

4. Use Digital PR Tactics To Earn Backlinks

Digital public relations (PR) is one of the most effective long-term approaches to building SaaS links. Digital PR entails expanding a company’s brands using means like podcasting, webinars, and more to attract the media’s attention.

Here are some suggestions for digital PR link-building:

  • Surveys and studies
  • Trend reports
  • Podcasts, webinars, and conferences

In order to get journalists and publications to write about your material and include links to it, you need to generate linkable assets (also known as link bait) and market these to them.

Important Factors In Back Linking

There are differences in the quality of the links. However, how can you evaluate whether or not a link is of high quality?

A link’s anatomy can tell you if it’s high- or low-quality. Look at these principles:

  • Relevancy
  • Anchor Text
  • Domain Strength
  • Page Strength

Once you’ve made it to the first page of Google’s search results, you can take it a step further by analyzing the anchor texts used by your top competitors to learn which type of anchor Google prefers and then using that data to guide your own link-building efforts.

Conclusion

The success of your SEO and the development of your SaaS brand depends on your ability to create and implement a comprehensive backlink strategy.

While it’s true that link building is more challenging for SaaS companies, it’s doable with the right strategy.

If you do it well, you may create an endless supply of high-quality links that will attract new clients.

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