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Robots.txt

Alternate Ways To Implement Noindex Directive In Robots.txt file

The most used and appreciated search engine, Google has announced that it is not going to support robots.txt directive related to indexing from 1st September 2019. It means that the search engine will not index your webpage if you are relying on the robots.txt noindex directive to remove the pages from the SERPs. So now it becomes necessary to remove it and look for alternate options.

What is Robots.txt?

Robots.txt is a text file that is used to instruct the search engine crawlers to crawl and index the website pages. These robots.txt files are placed at the top-level of the directory in the website so the robots can easily access the instructions.

To communicate with the different search crawlers, it is necessary for the robots.txt to follow certain specific standards features in the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP). If the file is set incorrectly, it may cause multiple indexing and cause mistakes. In such conditions, you need to check the robots.txt file every time in Google’s robots texting tool.

Alternate options

  • Noindex in robots Meta tags: It is supported both in HTTP response headers and in HTML, the noindex directory is considered to be a most effective way to remove the URLs from the index when crawling is allowed.
  • 404 and 410 HTTP status codes: This status code serves as the message to inform the search engine that the page is not available anymore. As a result, it will be dropped from the index once they are crawled.
  • Disallow in robots.txt: Blocking a page from being crawled will be the reason for preventing the page from being indexed because the search engine will be able to index only the page that they know about. When a page is indexed due to links pointing to it form several other pages, the search engine will aim to offer less visibility in its search results.
  • Password protection: Unless markup is used in indicating subscription or payment content, hiding the page from logging in will be removed from the index of the search engine.
  • Search console removes the URL tool: It is an easy and quick method to remove the URL from the search research directory. Based on the usage of the tool, you can remove the link temporarily and make some more work for the permanent removal. Also, it allows with the cancel the removal as well.

Now, what becomes standard?

As the search engine announces certain changes, now the question arises what becomes standard? In its announcement, the search engine also answered for it. It said that it will make some robots exclusion protocol as a standard one and that would be the first upcoming change. This also been announced as the open-source project along with the previous announcement.

What is the need for change?

Google has been looking forward to making this change from a few years back and makes the standardizing protocol and now it became the time for implementation. Now the search engine says, “Analyzed the usage of robots.txt rules”. The searches also focus on the unsupported implementations of the internet-draft like crawl delay, noindex, nofollow.

Also, Google said that those rules were never been documented by them so naturally their users about the Googlebot becomes too low. So this may affect the website available in the search engine and it results in thinking as they do not aim for webmasters.  

Final thoughts Make sure you make appropriate changes before September 1st and make sure you are not using the crawl delay commands and nofollow commands. Look for the true support method for the directives to move forward.

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