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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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Internet

App Marketing Strategies: Crucial Things You Should Know

App Marketing Strategies: Crucial Things You Should Know. A simple, streamlined app is a high-converting app, Capitalize on your social media

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App Marketing Strategies Crucial Things You Should Know

An app is the next step in digital marketing and expands its digital footprint for many brands. For others, it is a strategy launched at the birth of the brand for an optimized customer experience from the outset. 

Whatever the reason for app development in brands, the fact is that marketing an app will be different from selling a website or even products or services. Not only are you trying to convince your customer to download your app, but you are also trying to push them to use it constantly. 

So, we took a look at ways to market your app and what seems to be working for companies worldwide. 

1. A simple, streamlined app is a high-converting app. 

Many brands are under the impression that an app is a complicated, highly technical element of their business, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

If you do not opt to code your app from scratch, you can find a great app builder that allows you to create simple, clutter-free apps that work. 

When building your app, please focus on the customer journey from the beginning, regardless of its purpose. What makes the consumer see when they first open the app? What kind of features does it offer? 

By mapping out your user experience from the start and then continually updating and improving it, you are more likely to get customers to use it. Customers are more and more prone to using apps that take them through the sales funnel as quickly as possible. They prefer to use apps that allow them to create a profile and add their payment details to avoid going through the same process again. 

Cart abandonment has been noted to significantly drop when the customer does not need to repeatedly fill out any information, especially their credit card details.

That will more be worth your while to consider and market that you offer different payment options. Combine Paypal and credit card options, or even provide cash-on-delivery. This way, you increase your conversion rate, and if the card does bounce, there is a backup option not to lose the sale. 

2. Capitalize on your social media 

Capitalize on your social media

Social media has, over the years, become one of the most prominent digital marketing platforms, with more and more emphasis being put on getting the right content out to the right audiences. 

Each platform has rapidly evolved over the years and started integrating unique and highly functional features and options to reach audiences and direct them to the site or the app and even convert them directly on the app. 

For example, suppose you are using Instagram for promotion. In that case, you can improve the quality of your Instagram followers by posting relevant content to ensure that you are targeting the right audience.

By focusing on building a community on Instagram, you can increase your conversion rate as you are marketing your product to an audience that is more likely to spend money on your brand. 

Once you have built a community, you can advertise discounts and incentives for customers who sign up for the app. Offer free delivery or special promotions if they create profiles and make purchases through your app. Should customers sign up for your app or purchase the app from a social campaign, offer a specific discount code to track the social channels’ success rates. 

3. App Store Optimization needs to be a focus. 

Just like your site needs Search Engine Optimization, your app needs App Store Optimization or ASO. 40% of all apps are discovered through searches on the app, so your brand will need to focus on the various methods of getting it ranked and found. 

Therefore, whatever makes you need to look at? As with SEO, you need to ensure that you have done keyword research for your brand to include in your app for your customers to find you in the store. 

Make sure your title and name are optimized for clients to find you. Whether customers are looking for your specific character, they need to search for the name easily and see you or make sure that your brand’s name is related to your offering for customers doing organic searches. 

Next, make sure that your description is simple yet optimized with keywords. The keywords need to appear in your title, your subheading as well as your description. This will help with your search rankings and offer visitors searching the store to find you based on their interests. 

Lastly, and these are a little more out of your control, but the number of downloads, as well as reviews and ratings, will increase your ASO. One way is to incentivize your audience to download and use the app, and after that, rate and review your app. 

Discount codes, free delivery, and so on are all great ways of encouraging people to download and rate your app. 

4. Last thoughts 

In wrapping up, consider your app as an extension of your brand and your website. It should play a functional role in providing your customer with swift, helpful information and guiding them through the sales funnel as quickly as possible. 

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