Robots txt

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Extracted from the Robots txt.org site provides the folowing explanation on using the The Robots Exclusion Protocol. Link provided by BruceM on User2 list 6/30/2009 10:34 PM

Web site owners use the /robots.txt file to give instructions about their site to web robots; this is called The Robots Exclusion Protocol. It works likes this: a robot wants to vists a Web site URL, say http://www.example.com/welcome.html. Before it does so, it firsts checks for http://www.example.com/robots.txt, and finds:


User-agent: *

Disallow: /


The "User-agent: *" means this section applies to all robots. The "Disallow: /" tells the robot that it should not visit any pages on the site. There are two important considerations when using /robots.txt:

  • robots can ignore your /robots.txt. Especially malware robots that scan the web for security vulnerabilities, and email address harvesters used by spammers will pay no attention.
  • the /robots.txt file is a publicly available file. Anyone can see what sections of your server you don't want robots to use.

So don't try to use /robots.txt to hide information. Note that malware or email harvesting bots will ignore the directives of the robots.txt file.


Related links

Robots txt.org site

The following provide additional security measures:

Controlling Site Access

Protecting Resources

Checking your site for Malware