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No Robots Allowed

It is a hot day on Seaside Island, and Team Sonic is trying to keep it cool in Tails' House. Amy tries using a small fan, but it malfunctions. Sonic then suggests using the Tailsmobile's propeller for a fan. When it is turned on, the wind is so powerful that everyone gets whisked into the air and float around. Sonic is able to turn it off, and the others want to do it again. Over at Eggman's lair, Orbot and Cubot use fan palm branches for to create the wind effect for Dr. Eggman. While Eggman still finds the heat dreadful, he refuses to turn on the air conditioner since his electric bill is already sky-high. Orbot then suggests using solar power, which Eggman agrees to. After Orbot and Cubot install solar panels, Eggman discovers he is generating more power than he needs. Eggman thinks of what he should do with the spare power and decides to use it to super-charge his robots for an attack on Seaside Island.

No Robots Allowed

In the Village Center, Team Sonic is walking through the heat when Knuckles sees an ice cream cart, but it turns out to be a mirage. A real ice cream cart soon shows up, but just when everyone is about to eat, their ice cream melts. Eggman's robots then show up, and Team Sonic takes care of them. At the same time at Meh Burger, Admiral Beaverton and Lady Walrus are celebrating Professor Cluckins who has been elected as the newest board member of their Archipelago Homeowners Association. Amidst this, a Crab Bot from Team Sonic's battle lands on their table and the association examine the damaged robot. Back at the lair, Eggman receives a letter from the association saying that if he does not get rid of all his robots, he will be evicted. Plotting to charm the association, Eggman puts away all his robots and decides to invite the association over for dinner.

On the beach, Team Sonic is listening to the radio when they hear that it is going to rain that night. Later at the lair, the solar panels are struck by lightning, powering up the robots to the point that they go haywire. At the same time, the Archipelago Homeowners Association arrived at Eggman's lair, but during dinner, Eggman struggles to hide his rampaging robots. While he does this, Team Sonic is at Meh Burger when some of the robots show up, only to run around in circles, making the heroes suspicious. Eventually, the association sees the robots and are about to evict Eggman when the doctor traps them in the Electrocage. Luckily, Team Sonic shows up, but when Eggman orders his robots to attack, they do not move. Sonic easily frees the association, but Eggman is able to stay in his lair when he convinces the Homeowners Association that his robots are a form of art. Team Sonic and the Homeowners Association then leave Eggman to get all his robots back to normal. Eggman complains that this will be a long night as Orbot covers his face with souffle.

There will come a time when robots will be in your target market, but that day is (at least) a few years away. In the meantime, we all need to remind ourselves the purpose of putting together quality copy on the internet:

With NRobots being "an unofficial and unsupported fork" for robots file parsing, I wrote my own from scratch targeting .NET Standard 2.0. It supports all of the previously described rules while allowing flexibility to be extended later.

This approach is also followed by a few data mining services that only obey robots exclusion if their User-Agent is mention specifically. In an industry where ever more data is key to success, disregarding the default deny policy is only common business sense to keep their dataset growing.

The robots meta tag lets you utilize a granular, page-specific approach to controlling how an individual page should be indexed and served to users in Google Search results. Place the robots meta tag in the section of a given page, like this:

In this example, the robots meta tag instructs search engines not to show the page in search results. The value of the name attribute (robots) specifies that the rule applies to all crawlers. To address a specific crawler, replace the robots value of the name attribute with the name of the crawler that you are addressing. Specific crawlers are also known as user agents (a crawler uses its user agent to request a page.) Google's standard web crawler has the user agent name Googlebot. To prevent only Google from indexing your page, update the tag as follows:

The X-Robots-Tag can be used as an element of the HTTP header response for a given URL. Any rule that can be used in a robots meta tag can also be specified as an X-Robots-Tag. Here's an example of an HTTP response with an X-Robots-Tag instructing crawlers not to index a page:

Conflicting robots rules: In the case of conflicting robots rules, the more restrictive rule applies. For example, if a page has both max-snippet:50 and nosnippet rules, the nosnippet rule will apply.

The following rules, also available in machine-readable format, can be used to control indexing and serving of a snippet with the robots meta tag and the X-Robots-Tag. Each value represents a specific rule. Multiple rules may be combined in a comma-separated list or in separate meta tags. These rules are case-insensitive.

You can create a multi-rule instruction by combining robots meta tag rules with commas or by using multiple meta tags. Here is an example of a robots meta tag that instructs web crawlers to not index the page and to not crawl any of the links on the page:

Robots meta tags govern the amount of content that Google extracts automatically from web pages for display as search results. But many publishers also use structured data to make specific information available for search presentation. Robots meta tag limitations don't affect the use of that structured data, with the exception of article.description and the description values for structured data specified for other creative works. To specify the maximum length of a preview based on these description values, use the max-snippet rule. For example, recipe structured data on a page is eligible for inclusion in the recipe carousel, even if the text preview would otherwise be limited. You can limit the length of a text preview with max-snippet, but that robots meta tag doesn't apply when the information is provided using structured data for rich results.

You can use the X-Robots-Tag for non-HTML files like image files where the usage of robots meta tags in HTML is not possible. Here's an example of adding a noindex X-Robots-Tag rule for images files (.png, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif) across an entire site:

robots meta tags and X-Robots-Tag HTTP headers are discovered when a URL is crawled. If a page is disallowed from crawling through the robots.txt file, then any information about indexing or serving rules will not be found and will therefore be ignored. If indexing or serving rules must be followed, the URLs containing those rules cannot be disallowed from crawling.

In a robots.txt file with multiple user-agent directives, each disallow or allow rule only applies to the useragent(s) specified in that particular line break-separated set. If the file contains a rule that applies to more than one user-agent, a crawler will only pay attention to (and follow the directives in) the most specific group of instructions.

Msnbot, discobot, and Slurp are all called out specifically, so those user-agents will only pay attention to the directives in their sections of the robots.txt file. All other user-agents will follow the directives in the user-agent: * group.

Each subdomain on a root domain uses separate robots.txt files. This means that both and should have their own robots.txt files (at and

When it comes to the actual URLs to block or allow, robots.txt files can get fairly complex as they allow the use of pattern-matching to cover a range of possible URL options. Google and Bing both honor two regular expressions that can be used to identify pages or subfolders that an SEO wants excluded. These two characters are the asterisk (*) and the dollar sign ($).

Robots.txt files control crawler access to certain areas of your site. While this can be very dangerous if you accidentally disallow Googlebot from crawling your entire site (!!), there are some situations in which a robots.txt file can be very handy.

Do not use robots.txt to prevent sensitive data (like private user information) from appearing in SERP results. Because other pages may link directly to the page containing private information (thus bypassing the robots.txt directives on your root domain or homepage), it may still get indexed. If you want to block your page from search results, use a different method like password protection or the noindex meta directive.

A search engine will cache the robots.txt contents, but usually updates the cached contents at least once a day. If you change the file and want to update it more quickly than is occurring, you can submit your robots.txt url to Google.

If you use a site hosting service, such as Wix or Blogger, you might not need to (or be able to) edit your robots.txt file directly. Instead, your provider might expose a search settings page or some other mechanism to tell search engines whether or not to crawl your page.

A robots.txt file lives at the root of your site. So, for site, the robots.txt file lives at robots.txt is a plain text file that follows the Robots Exclusion Standard. A robots.txt file consists of one or more rules. Each rule blocks or allows access for all or a specific crawler to a specified file path on the domain or subdomain where the robots.txt file is hosted. Unless you specify otherwise in your robots.txt file, all files are implicitly allowed for crawling.

You can use almost any text editor to create a robots.txt file. For example, Notepad, TextEdit, vi, and emacs can create valid robots.txt files. Don't use a word processor; word processors often save files in a proprietary format and can add unexpected characters, such as curly quotes, which can cause problems for crawlers. Make sure to save the file with UTF-8 encoding if prompted during the save file dialog.


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