The sole purpose of a robots.txt file is to guide search engine through your website. In other words, you can tell the search engine not to crawl particular section of your website.

By default, search engine always crawls every single page of your website, but in some cases you do want them to crawl/index some of the pages of your sites, in that situation robots.txt files comes handy.

New Robots.txt Tester Tool

Creating and managing proper robots.txt files can sometimes be difficult. While most sites do not need a robots.txt file, finding the directives within a large robots.txt file that are or were blocking individual URLs can be quite tricky. To make it simpler, Google has updated robots.txt testing tool in Webmaster Tools.

This tool will  highlight errors causing Google not to crawl pages on your website, let you edit your file, test if URLs are blocked, and let you view older versions of your file.

If there is some problem in the crawling process,  the robots.txt tester, located under the Crawl section of Google Webmaster Tools, will now let you test whether there is any issue in your file that’s blocking Google crawlers.

It is recommended to check your robot.txt files as there can be some errors or warnings displayed for your existing sites. Webmasters can now combine it with other parts of Webmaster Tools.

Robots.txt tester can be used to find out if any blocked URLs are reported as well. Fixing problems coming from old robots.txt file that was blocking JavaScript, CSS or mobile content is also essential to let your website be search engine friendly.

Tips On Robots.txt File

You must apply the following saving conventions so that Googlebot and other web crawlers will find and identify your robots.txt file:

  1. You must save your robots.txt code as a text file,
  2. You must place the file in the highest-level directory of your site (or the root of your domain), and.
  3. The robots.txt file must be named robots.txt.

Sometimes while testing if you get “robots.txt unreachable” message means that Google couldn’t reach your server at all. Usually that’s a sign of connectivity problems on your hosting server. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with your robots.txt file; it’s just that Google was not able to check.

The updated tool will make it easier for Webmasters to maintain & test robots.txt file.