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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blogger Magic - The "Robots.txt" File

Some new blog owners spend time examining the various settings provided by Blogger, in the dashboard.

Some dashboard settings inspire questions, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More about Blogger. As helpers there, we know from experience that some questions, asked and answered there, will lead to later questions in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

The "Robots.Txt" file is one feature which inspires these types of questions.
I was updating my settings on Blogger, and I discovered some settings that I didn't understand. What do I add for "Custom robot text" and "Custom robot header tag"?
When I was young, my mother used to provide advice "That is a well enough!" - as the proper answer, to this question, is to "Leave well enough alone!".

The "Robots.txt" file is a collection of various settings - and the dashboard "Search preferences" wizard provides useful options, for Blogger blog owners.

You may edit "robots.txt", if you wish - but be mindful of possible consequences.

When used properly, "Robots.Txt" provides us several possibilities. That said, we should heed the warning.
Warning! Use with caution. Incorrect use of these features can result in your blog being ignored by search engines.
The section "Crawlers and indexing" is a dashboard feature which should probably be left alone by 99% of all Blogger blog owners - except in specific, documented examples.

All "robots.txt" entries are carefully designed, by Blogger / Google Engineers.

Some portions of "Robots.Txt" are maintained by various well documented Blogger and Webmaster Tools features.
Other sections of "Search preferences" have similar value. Unless you understand "Robots.Txt" functionality, however, you should leave "Crawlers and indexing" alone.

If you are not familiar with the settings, it's best to not play with them.

Leave the magic spells, to the magicians and wizards. See Google Developers - Webmasters: Robots.txt Specifications, for details.

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