Some days ago, Google announced a new version of their robots.txt tool. Why is a correct robots.txt file important if you want to get a high ranking website, and what can you do to make sure that everything works as expected?
What does a robots.txt file do?
The robots.txt file enables you to tell search engines which web pages on your website they should ignore.
Robots that choose to follow the instructions try to
fetch this file and read the instructions before fetching any other
file from the web site. If the robots.txt file doesn’t exist, web
robots assume that the web owner wishes to provide no specific
instructions, and crawl the entire site.
What are the risks?
If the robots.txt file of your website does not have the correct format, search engines might not index your web pages at all. That’s the reason why you should check the robots.txt file of your site.
Google’s updated robots.txt checker can do the following:
- It highlights which line in your robots.txt file is blocking a specific page.
- It enables you to make test changes in your robots.txt file before publishing it.
There are many more technical factors that can damage your rankings
It is very important that the robots.txt file of your website is correct. However, there are many more technical factors that can have a negative influence on the Google rankings of your web pages. For example:
- Incorrect redirects
- Broken links
- Server errors
- Empty or duplicate web page titles
- Incorrectly used canonical attributes
- Duplicate content issues
If you want to make sure that your web pages get the best possible rankings, you should check all of these factors. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler automatically checks 49 important elements on all pages of your website to make sure that Google gives them high rankings.
If you haven’t done it yet, get your website audit report now. For many websites, the website audit report in SEOprofiler resulted in immediate ranking improvements: