robots.txt configuration

robots.txt is a text file that tells robots (such as search engine indexers) how to behave, by instructing them not to crawl certain paths on the website. It is placed within the root directory of a website.


Many factors can increase the load on your website; this includes web crawlers. In addition, if allowed to crawl the entirety of a site, web crawlers can cause pollution of search results with resources that don't benefit from being searchable.


Use robots.txt to reduce website load and stop unsuitable content appearing in search results. Using this file is optional and should only be used for these purposes. It should not be used as a way to prevent the disclosure of private information or to hide portions of a website.

While using this file can prevent pages from appearing in search engine results, it does not secure websites against attackers. On the contrary, it can unintentionally help them: robots.txt is publicly accessible, and by adding your sensitive page paths to it, you are showing their locations to potential attackers.

Also be aware that some robots, such as malware robots and email address harvesters, will ignore your robots.txt file.


Stop all search engines from crawling a site:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Hide certain directories (this is not recommended):

User-agent: *
Disallow: /secret/admin-interface

See also