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robots.txt is the filename used for implementing the Robots Exclusion Protocol, a standard used by websites to indicate to visiting web crawlers and other web robots which portions of the website they are allowed to visit. This relies on voluntary compliance. Not all robots comply with the standard; indeed, email harvesters, spambots, malware and robots that scan for security vulnerabilities may very well start with the portions of the website they have been asked (by the Robots Exclusion Protocol) to stay out of. The "robots.txt" file can be used in conjunction with sitemaps, another robot inclusion standard for websites.

File & syntax

  • Recommended character encoding: UTF-8 without BOM
  • Comments (#) are ok
  • Empty lines are ok
  • There is no specific file length limit

Google Search Console

To see results of Google fetching this file within Google Search Console:

Settings » robots.txt

See also