How Bing's New Robots.txt Tester Can Help SEOs Identify Crawling Issues

Since the beginning of the search engine age, webmasters and SEOs have constantly been looking for reliable and efficient tools to manage their websites relationship with web robots/crawlers/spiders. The difficulty of managing this relationship can often result in a misconfigured robots.txt file, which has unexpected SEO outcomes.  

Bing themselves have both identified and understand this webmaster frustration, prompting the creation of their new and enhanced robots.txt tester tool. The robots.txt tester tool has been designed to allow webmasters and SEOs the ability to proactively evaluate their robots.txt file, with the ability to identify crawling issues. 

The download option provides a step by step process of updating the file that includes downloading the edited file, uploading the same on the root of the domain which can be checked for a live version and lastly requesting Bing to update the same

How SEOs can make use it

The new Bing robots.txt tester tool can be used by webmasters to test and validate their robots.txt file, or to check whether a URL is blocked, which statement is blocking it and for which user agent.

Bing has also introduced an editor, where changes to the robots.txt files can also be made. The in-built test functionality checks the submitted URL against the content of the editor and therefore allowing webmasters and SEOs to check the URL for errors on the spot. 

If needed, the newly edited robots.txt file can be downloaded, allowing SEOs to update and upload the file offline. The fetch option can also be used to retrieve the latest version of the file. 

The robots.txt testing tool can be used as Bingbot and BingAdsBot would to crawl a URL and there’s an option to toggle between the two. This allows SEOs to check a robots.txt file to determine whether the URL is being allowed or blocked accordingly. 

A useful tool for busy SEOs

Webmasters and SEOs have struggled for years to find effective tools that would allow for efficient management of their robots.txt file. Following the complexities of the robots.txt file often lead to errors, resulting in suboptimal crawling, which has negative SEO outcomes. Webmasters and SEOs can now use Bing's robots.txt testing tool to proactively identify crawling issues, enabling them to troubleshoot and validate robots.txt issues more easily.  

Read the full announcement: Bing Webmaster Tools makes it easy to edit and verify your robots.txt

Struggling to manage your robots.txt file?

To find out more about how our professional marketers can help you optimise and manage your robots.txt file, call Ben Keeley on 01323 735800, or email Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form and Ben will get back to you.

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