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How To Control Search Engine Robots

Written by Michael Rock

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to leave some code in your web site to tellrepparttar search engine spider crawlers to make your site number one? Unfortunately a robots.txt file or robots meta tag won't do that, but they can helprepparttar 138222 crawlers to index your site better and block outrepparttar 138223 unwanted ones.

First a little definition explaining:

Search Engine Spiders or Crawlers - A web crawler (also known as web spider) is a program which browsesrepparttar 138224 World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner. Web crawlers are mainly used to create a copy of allrepparttar 138225 visited pages for later processing by a search engine, that will indexrepparttar 138226 downloaded pages to provide fast searches.

A web crawler is one type of bot, or software agent. In general, it starts with a list of URLs to visit. As it visits these URLs, it identifies allrepparttar 138227 hyperlinks inrepparttar 138228 page and adds them torepparttar 138229 list of URLs to visit, recursively browsingrepparttar 138230 Web according to a set of policies.

Robots.txt - The robots exclusion standard or robots.txt protocol is a convention to prevent well-behaved web spiders and other web robots from accessing all or part of a website. The information specifyingrepparttar 138231 parts that should not be accessed is specified in a file called robots.txt inrepparttar 138232 top-level directory ofrepparttar 138233 website.

The robots.txt protocol is purely advisory, and relies onrepparttar 138234 cooperation ofrepparttar 138235 web robot, so that marking an area of your site out of bounds with robots.txt does not guarantee privacy. Many web site administrators have been caught out trying to userepparttar 138236 robots file to make private parts of a website invisible torepparttar 138237 rest ofrepparttar 138238 world. Howeverrepparttar 138239 file is necessarily publicly available and is easily checked by anyone with a web browser.

The robots.txt patterns are matched by simple substring comparisons, so care should be taken to make sure that patterns matching directories haverepparttar 138240 final '/' character appended: otherwise all files with names starting with that substring will match, rather than just those inrepparttar 138241 directory intended.

Meta Tag - Meta tags are used to provide structured data about data.

Inrepparttar 138242 early 2000s, search engines veered away from reliance on Meta tags, as many web sites used inappropriate keywords, or were keyword stuffing to obtain any and all traffic possible.

Some search engines, however, still take Meta tags into some consideration when delivering results. In recent years, search engines have become smarter, penalizing websites that are cheating (by repeatingrepparttar 138243 same keyword several times to get a boost inrepparttar 138244 search ranking). Instead of going up rankings, these websites will go down in rankings or, on some search engines, will be kicked off ofrepparttar 138245 search engine completely.

Index a site - The act of crawling your site and gathering information.

How canrepparttar 138246 robots.txt file and meta tag help you?

Inrepparttar 138247 robots.txt you can tellrepparttar 138248 harmful 'web crawlers' to leave your web site alone, and give helpful hints torepparttar 138249 ones you want to crawl your site. Here is an example on how to disallow a web crawler to search your site:

# this identifiesrepparttar 138250 wayback machine User-agent: ia_archiver Disallow: /

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