From dictating your crawl frequency to why the file is crucial to site indexing, here are nine answers to the question, “What are some important things a site owner should know about their WordPress robots.txt?”
- You Can Dictate Crawl Frequency
- Google Might Index Pages that Are Marked by Robot.txt
- Google Has Up to 24 Hours of Delay on an Update
- Proper Usage of the Disallow Command
- Regularly Review Your Robots File
- The Root Directory Is the Primary Location
- Robot.txt Could Make or Break for Your SEO
- You Should Only Have One Robots.txt
- Robots.txt is Crucial for Site Indexing
You Can Dictate Crawl Frequency
Many site owners don’t realize that you can dictate the crawl frequency of SEO tools via a robots.txt file.
If you find that you’re getting far too many requests from a tool like SEMrush, you can add the following to your robots.txt file to ensure that there is a maximum number of 5 URLs crawled per request (ensuring that your site is not bombarded with requests all in one go):
Gary Warner, Marketing Manager, Joloda Hydaroll
Google Might Index Pages That Are Marked by Robot.txt
WordPress is one of the most popular site-building and content-management systems on the internet. Part of the reason for its popularity is its ease of use; WordPress provides a simple interface for creating and managing web content.
However, WordPress also has several more advanced features, including the ability to create a robots.txt file. This file can instruct Google and other search engines not to index certain pages on your site.
For example, you might use the robots.txt file to exclude Google from indexing pages that are still under construction. However, it’s important to note that Google might still index these pages; the robots.txt file is not a guarantee that your pages will not be indexed.
As a result, site owners should use caution when excluding pages from Google’s index.
Jim Campbell, CEO, Campbell Online Media
Google Has Up to 24 Hours of Delay on an Update
I learned the hard way that even though you push a change live, it’ll take up to 24 hours for it to be reflected in the search engine results.
I wanted to prohibit Google from showing a section of my website in the search results, so I updated my robots.txt, but to my surprise, that section of my website was still showing up on Google.
After a couple of hours, Google had caught up with the change, though. So it’s important to note that it takes Google up to 24 hours after you have made a change before it catches up with the update.
Holger Sindbaek, Founder & CEO, Solitaire Online
Proper Usage of the Disallow Command
Although many site owners create a robots.txt file for their WordPress website, it is important to understand how to use the Disallow command correctly.
The Disallow command tells search engine crawlers which page, directories and files to avoid when crawling the WordPress website. Improper use of disallowing may prevent your content from being indexed and may even cause errors in search engine results.
It is also important to remember that blocking specific folders or files using the Disallow command will not prevent them from being accessed if a direct URL is known. Therefore, use this command only when needed and with caution.
Burak Özdemir, Founder, Online Alarm Kur
Regularly Review Your Robots File
One thing a site owner should know about their WordPress robots.txt is that it changes.
Depending on who is managing your site, the robot’s file is in danger of being changed accidentally.
Having inexperienced people as admins on your WordPress site could lead to the site being set to no index, quite by accident. If this happens, your site could disappear from the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
So be aware of what your robot’s file should look like and check it regularly, particularly if you notice a drop in rankings.
Phil Gregory, Founder, Peak District SEO
The Root Directory Is the Primary Location
One thing you should know about your WordPress robots.txt is that it should always be placed in the root directory of your website—not in any other folder. This will ensure that search engine robots can access it.
You should also know any changes to your robots.txt file may take some time to take effect. It’s best to be patient and give it a few days for any changes to be processed.
Lastly, make sure that your robots.txt is kept up to date. If it’s not, search engine robots may end up indexing pages you don’t want them to. So, be sure to review your robots.txt now and then to make sure it’s still doing its job properly.
Jaya Iyer, Marketing Assistant, Teranga Digital Marketing
Robot.txt Could Make or Break for Your SEO
WordPress is a content management system that helps site owners publish and manage their content. One important aspect of WordPress is the robots.txt file. This file helps to control how search engines index and crawl your site.
It is important to remember that the robots.txt file is a directive for search engine crawlers, not humans. As a result, it is important to be careful when editing this file. If you are not familiar with the WordPress robots.txt file, it is best to leave it unchanged.
However, if you need to make changes, be sure to consult with a WordPress expert before doing so. Changing your robots.txt file can cause your site to be less visible on search engine results pages, which can affect your traffic and your bottom line.
Chris Peacock, CEO, Trickle Digital
You Should Only Have One Robots.txt
I’ve seen WordPress admins get this wrong a lot. They outsource development to someone, or they migrate a site, and neglect to check where the robots.txt actually is.
Sometimes they end up with multiple files, sometimes in different directories.
This can be detrimental, as spiders only want to see one file, and some search engines consider it spammy to include more. It seems like a newbie mistake but it happens to the best of us.
George Avetisov, CEO, 1up.ai
Robots.txt Is Crucial for Site Indexing
A site owner should understand that the robots.txt file is an important part of their WordPress website as it helps search engines and other crawlers access and index your site content.
It should exclude certain pages from indexing and direct crawlers to the most important ones. Be sure to keep it up to date, as any changes or additions you make can affect the way search engines index your content.
Md Umar Khan, SEO Manager, Wild Idea Marketing