Even with the files and folders controlled by Blogger, and normally hidden from view, there are ways to examine the contents of some files. And those who would be better off not examining file content do so anyway, become confused, and stress themselves needlessly. Every week, we read anxious queries
Help! My blog has been hacked!!or
My robots.txt file is blocking my blog from being indexed!
You can make two Settings changes that are relevant here, but mostly this file is maintained by Blogger code. Occasionally, Blogger makes changes to our blogs in general, and changes the content of "robots.txt" to support the changes made. Recently, changes to "feedReaderJson" necessitated a change to "robots.txt".
Here's the "robots.txt" file for this blog, "blogging.nitecruzr.net", as of 2008/08/17.
User-agent: Mediapartners-Google Disallow: User-agent: * Disallow: /search Allow: / Sitemap: http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/feeds/posts/default?orderby=updated
Here we see 3 entries. For an explanation of some terms, and for a demonstration illustrating the results, please refer to Google Webmaster Tools - "Analyze robots.txt". You may also be enlightened by reading The Web Robots Pages.
- This allows access to all blog components of the blog ("Disallow: (null)"), to the spider "Mediapartners-Google", which is the spider that crawls pages to determine AdSense content. This entry overrides the following entry, for the specified spider.
User-agent: Mediapartners-Google Disallow:
- This disallows indexing from all URLs containing "/search"(ie, label searches) - and it allows all other blog URLs.
User-agent: * Disallow: /search Allow: /
- This defines the URL of the sitemap. It's interesting to note that, when I used Google Webmaster Tools and added a sitemap, I added it as "blogging.nitecruzr.net/atom.xml?orderby=updated", yet it gets stored as "blogging.nitecruzr.net/feeds/posts/default?orderby=updated".
Here's my analysis of "robots.txt" for this blog, run using the wizard. You'll want to view this in full screen mode, zoomed as highly as possible.
Note the hypothetical effects of indexing 3 hypothetical blog URLs, against both "Googlebot" and "Mediapartners-Google", shown at the very bottom.
I've now examined a dozen or so different similar files, for blogs published to both native BlogSpot and custom domains, and excepting the URL of the sitemap, all files have been identical in content. My conclusion is that this is a normal file, and unless we start seeing a flood of complaints about indexing problems, I see no reason to suspect a problem.
So, the next time someone comes to you moaning
My robots.txt file is blocking my blog from being indexed!you can assure them
No, your "robots.txt" file is normal.Then, introduce them to Google Webmaster Tools, and its many diagnostic reports.