Robots.txt: How to Show Your Best Side to Google
Recently Google changed the way they view sites. In the past search engines tended to see a website much as a user using a text-only browser would. This has since changed. Now search engines have switched to looking at sites as a human would a modern web browser; rich with imagery, video content and a variety of other media.
Tips for checking your robots.txt
Google now provide tools as part of Google Webmaster Tools that allow you to see the results of a Google crawl and if any elements on a page are blocked. You or your developers should not just use a default robots.txt for a particular CMS without checking each line to ensure that it’s required or if additional lines need to be added. Make sure that every site has a robots.txt even if it is empty. Sometimes when Google’s crawler bots can’t find a robots.txt file it can assume that the entire site no longer exists and you could take a substantial rankings hit and ultimately lose traffic. Another problem that is often encountered with robots.txt files comes during the launch of a new site. Developers put robots.txt files to block all crawlers during the development phase. This is done so as not to allow a half built site to rank. Forgetting to remove these is a problem I see more often than I would like to. If you would like any further clarification on this issue do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of the team. We’d be happy to help.