The implementation of a suitable robots.txt file is very important for search engine optimization. There is plenty of advice around the Internet for the creation of such files (if you are looking for an introduction on this topic read “Creat a robots.txt file“), but what if instead of looking at what people say we could look at what people do?

That is what I did, collecting the robots.txt files from a wide range of blogs and websites. Below you will find them.

Key Takeaways

  • Only 2 out of 30 websites that I checked were not using a robots.txt file
  • Even if you don’t have any specific requirements for the search bots, therefore, you probably should use a simple robots.txt file
  • Most people stick to the “User-agent: *” attribute to cover all agents
  • The most common “Disallowed” factor is the RSS Feed
  • Google itself is using a combination of closed folders (e.g., /searchhistory/) and open ones (e.g., /search), which probably means they are treated differently
  • A minority of the sites included the sitemap URL on the robots.txt file

The Minimalistic Guys


Problogger.net

User-agent: *
Disallow:


Marketing Pilgrim

User-agent: *
Disallow:

Search Engine Journal

User-agent: *
Disallow:

Matt Cutts

User-agent: *
Allow:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /files/

Pronet Advertising

User-agent: *
Disallow: /mt
Disallow: /*.cgi$

TechCrunch

User-agent: *
Disallow: /*/feed/
Disallow: /*/trackback/

The Structured Ones

Online Marketing Blog

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: */feed/

User-agent: *
Disallow: /Blogger/
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /stats/
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /2005x/

Shoemoney

User-Agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /link.php
Disallow: /gallery2
Disallow: /gallery2/
Disallow: /category/
Disallow: /page/
Disallow: /pages/
Disallow: /feed/
Disallow: /feed

Scoreboard Media

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /category/
Disallow: /page/
Disallow: */feed/
Disallow: /2007/
Disallow: /2006/
Disallow: /wp-*

SEOMoz.org

User-agent: *
Disallow: /blogdetail.php?ID=537
Disallow: /blog?page
Disallow: /blog/author/
Disallow: /blog/category/
Disallow: /tracker
Disallow: /ugc?page
Disallow: /ugc/author/
Disallow: /ugc/category/

Wolf-Howl

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /images/
Disallow: /noindex/
Disallow: /privacy-policy/
Disallow: /about/
Disallow: /company-biographies/
Disallow: /press-media-room/
Disallow: /newsletter/
Disallow: /contact-us/
Disallow: /terms-of-service/
Disallow: /terms-of-service/
Disallow: /information/comment-policy/
Disallow: /faq/
Disallow: /contact-form/
Disallow: /advertising/
Disallow: /information/licensing-information/
Disallow: /2005/
Disallow: /2006/
Disallow: /2007/
Disallow: /2008/
Disallow: /2009/
Disallow: /2004/
Disallow: /*?*
Disallow: /page/
Disallow: /iframes/

John Chow

sitemap: http://www.johnchow.com/sitemap.xml

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /go/
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-includes/
Disallow: /author/
Disallow: /page/
Disallow: /category/
Disallow: /wp-images/
Disallow: /images/
Disallow: /backup/
Disallow: /banners/
Disallow: /archives/
Disallow: /trackback/
Disallow: /feed/

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Allow: /

User-agent: duggmirror
Disallow: /

Smashing Magazine

Sitemap: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/sitemap.xml

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google*
Disallow:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /styles/
Disallow: /inc/
Disallow: /tag/
Disallow: /cc/
Disallow: /category/

User-agent: MSIECrawler
Disallow: /

User-agent: psbot
Disallow: /

User-agent: Fasterfox
Disallow: /

User-agent: Slurp
Crawl-delay: 200

Gizmodo

User-Agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /index.xml$
Disallow: /excerpts.xml$
Allow: /sitemap.xml$
Disallow: /*view=rss$
Disallow: /*?view=rss$
Disallow: /*format=rss$
Disallow: /*?format=rss$
Sitemap: http://gizmodo.com/sitemap.xml

Lifehacker

User-Agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /index.xml$
Disallow: /excerpts.xml$
Allow: /sitemap.xml$
Disallow: /*view=rss$
Disallow: /*?view=rss$
Disallow: /*format=rss$
Disallow: /*?format=rss$
Sitemap: http://lifehacker.com/sitemap.xml

The Mainstream Media

Wall Street Journal

User-agent: *
Disallow: /article_email/
Disallow: /article_print/
Disallow: /PA2VJBNA4R/
Sitemap: http://online.wsj.com/sitemap.xml

ZDNet

User-agent: *
Disallow: /Ads/
Disallow: /redir/
# Disallow: /i/ is removed per 190723
Disallow: /av/
Disallow: /css/
Disallow: /error/
Disallow: /clear/
Disallow: /mac-ad
Disallow: /adlog/
# URS per bug 239819, these were expanded
Disallow: /1300-
Disallow: /1301-
Disallow: /1302-
Disallow: /1303-
Disallow: /1304-
Disallow: /1305-
Disallow: /1306-
Disallow: /1307-
Disallow: /1308-
Disallow: /1309-
Disallow: /1310-
Disallow: /1311-
Disallow: /1312-
Disallow: /1313-
Disallow: /1314-
Disallow: /1315-
Disallow: /1316-
Disallow: /1317-

NY Times

# robots.txt, http://www.nytimes.com 6/29/2006
#
User-agent: *
Disallow: /pages/college/
Disallow: /college/
Disallow: /library/
Disallow: /learning/
Disallow: /aponline/
Disallow: /reuters/
Disallow: /cnet/
Disallow: /partners/
Disallow: /archives/
Disallow: /indexes/
Disallow: /thestreet/
Disallow: /nytimes-partners/
Disallow: /financialtimes/
Allow: /pages/
Allow: /2003/
Allow: /2004/
Allow: /2005/
Allow: /top/
Allow: /ref/
Allow: /services/xml/

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google*
Disallow:

YouTube

# robots.txt file for YouTube

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google*
Disallow:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /profile
Disallow: /results
Disallow: /browse
Disallow: /t/terms
Disallow: /t/privacy
Disallow: /login
Disallow: /watch_ajax
Disallow: /watch_queue_ajax

Bonus

Google

User-agent: *
Allow: /searchhistory/
Disallow: /news?output=xhtml&
Allow: /news?output=xhtml
Disallow: /search
Disallow: /groups
Disallow: /images
Disallow: /catalogs
Disallow: /catalogues
Disallow: /news
Disallow: /nwshp
Disallow: /?
Disallow: /addurl/image?
Disallow: /pagead/
Disallow: /relpage/
Disallow: /relcontent
Disallow: /sorry/
Disallow: /imgres
Disallow: /keyword/
Disallow: /u/
Disallow: /univ/
Disallow: /cobrand
Disallow: /custom
Disallow: /advanced_group_search
Disallow: /advanced_search
Disallow: /googlesite
Disallow: /preferences
Disallow: /setprefs
Disallow: /swr
Disallow: /url
Disallow: /default
Disallow: /m?
Disallow: /m/search?
Disallow: /wml?
Disallow: /wml/search?
Disallow: /xhtml?
Disallow: /xhtml/search?
Disallow: /xml?
Disallow: /imode?
Disallow: /imode/search?
Disallow: /jsky?
Disallow: /jsky/search?
Disallow: /pda?
Disallow: /pda/search?

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