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Testing and Troubleshooting Your Robots.txt File Using SEO Tools

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Efficient SEO is vital for a website’s visibility and discoverability. One underrated yet vital component of SEO is the “robots.txt” file, a cornerstone of the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP). This tiny but mighty tool helps guide search engine bots about which pages to crawl or ignore. However, mistakes in your robots.txt can negatively impact your site’s indexing or cause SEO disparities.

To ensure your robots.txt file is optimally utilized, testing and troubleshooting are key. In this article, we will walk through the process of utilizing SEO tools to test and troubleshoot your robots.txt file.

The Importance of Testing and Troubleshooting Your Robots.txt File

A faulty robots.txt file could prevent search engine bots from indexing essential pages or serve them pages that aren’t meant to be public. Testing and troubleshooting robots file can spot syntax errors, typos, or misplaced Disallow commands, blocking bots from accessing key pages.

Using SEO Tools To Test and Troubleshoot Your Robots.txt File

Several SEO tools can assist in evaluating, testing, and troubleshooting your robots file.

1. Google Search Console

Google Search Console offers a ‘Robots.txt Tester’ tool. It enables you to check and edit your robots file and check it for errors. This tool also allows you to see which directives in your file are blocking certain URLs.


1. Log into your Google Search Console account.
2. Select your site and go to ‘Crawl’, then ‘robots.txt Tester’ for a view of your current robots file.
3. Use the ‘Test’ function to determine if URLs are blocked/non-blocked.

2. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

This tool offers a ‘robots.txt’ testing feature.


1. Under the ‘Configuration’ menu, select ‘robots.txt’.
2. Enter a URL to test against the file. If the URL is disallowed, the tool will alert you.

3. SEMrush Site Audit

SEMrush’s Site Audit feature can help you identify issues with your robots file. It will scan the file for errors and warnings.


1. Run a site audit on your website.
2. Review the errors/warnings under ‘Crawlability’ – ‘Issues with robots file’.

4. Ryte

Like the others, Ryte can also check your robots.txt file for errors and report pages blocked unintentionally.

Remember, run these tests regularly, especially after creating or editing your robots file.

Tips for Troubleshooting Your Robots.txt File

Ensure that your syntax is correct and there are no typos. Simple typos can drastically change how bots interpret your directives.

Certain sections of your site that may hold significant SEO value, like your blog or product pages, should not be disallowed unless necessary. Regular tests wil help to ensure these key pages remain accessible to search engine bots.


The accuracy and efficacy of your robots.txt file are essential to your website’s SEO performance. Leveraging tools like Google Search Console, Screaming Frog SEO Spider, SEMrush, and Ryte can help in easily testing and troubleshooting your robots file. With regular checks and prompt troubleshooting, you can ensure search engine bots correctly view, crawl, and index your website, enhancing your overall SEO strategy.

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