HOW TO: Control Search Engines from Crawling Website (WordPress)
Posted by Shakir M. on 23 August 2019 11:10 AM
Control Search Engines from Crawling your Website.
In order for your website to be found by other people, search engine crawlers and save your website contents, also sometimes referred to as bots or spiders, will crawl your website looking for updated text and links to update their search indexes.
Control search engine crawlers with a robots.txt file.
Website owners can instruct search engines on how they should crawl a website, by using a robots.txt file. When a search engine crawls a website, it requests the robots.txt file first and then follows the rules within.
How to Create/Edit Reboot.txt file?
The robots.txt file needs to be at the root of your site folder. If your domain was domain.com it should be found under your website root directory:
As per the screenshot:
Search engine User-agents
The most common rule you’d use in a robots.txt file is based on the User-agent of the search engine crawler.
Search engine crawlers use a User-agent to classify themselves when crawling, here are some common samples:
Top 3 search engine User-agents:
Googlebot; By Google
Yahoo!; By Yahoo
Slurp bingbot; By Microsoft
Common search engine User-agents blocked:
Search engine crawler access via robots.txt file
There are quite a few options when it comes to controlling how your site is crawled with the robots.txt file.
The User-agent: rule specifies which User-agent the rule applies to, and * is a wildcard matching any User-agent.
Disallow: sets the files or folders that are not allowed to be crawled.
Set a crawl delay for all search engines:
If you had 1,000 pages on your website, a search engine could potentially index your entire site in a few minutes.
However, this could cause high system resource usage with all of those pages loaded in a short time period.
A Crawl-delay: of 30 seconds would allow crawlers to index your entire 1,000 page website in just 8.3 hours
You can set the Crawl-delay: for all search engines at once with:
By default search engines should be able to crawl your website, but you can also specify they are allowed with:
You can disallow any search engine from crawling your website, with these rules:
You can disallow just one specific search engine from crawling your website, with these rules:
If we had a few directories like /cgi-bin/, /private/, and /tmp/ we didn’t want bots to crawl we could use this:
If we had files like contactus.htm, index.htm, and store.htm we didn’t want bots to crawl we could use this:
If we only wanted to allow Googlebot access to our /private/ directory and disallow all other bots we could use:
When the Googlebot reads our robots.txt file, it will see it is not disallowed from crawling any directories.