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How do I control Search Engines using the robots.txt file ?




How do I control Search Engines using the robots.txt file ?

The spiders used to retreive website data for all legitimate search engines follow certain defined rules in a file called 'robots.txt', which should be placed in the root directory of a web site.

This file contains instructions about what a spider can and cannot follow and index within the sites structure, and therefore which directories / pages / images etc. that can be retrieved and indexed.

Example:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /jscript/
Disallow: /beta/
Disallow: /images/
Disallow: bogus.htm
This robots.txt file explains to the spiders that ...
  • User-agent: *
    all search engines are welcome to collect data from the site
  • Disallow: /cgi-bin/
    certain directories (and all the files/pages within) are to be collected for indexing
  • Disallow: bogus.htm
    the page bogus.htm in the site root should similarly not be retrieved and included.


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