Crawl directives

There are multiple ways to tell search engines how to behave on your site. These are called “crawl directives”. They allow you to:

  • tell a search engine to not crawl a page at all;
  • not to use a page in its index after it has crawled it;
  • whether to follow or not to follow links on that page;
  • a lot of “minor” directives.

We write a lot about these crawl directives as they are a very important weapon in an SEO’s arsenal. We try to keep these articles up to date as standards and best practices evolve.

Beginners level

Yoast SEO & Ryte: Checking your site’s indexability »

You probably know that Yoast SEO helps you determine what should and should not be indexed. But did you know that it also checks if your site is indexable or not? Thanks to Ryte, we can check if your site is still reachable for both search engine bots and visitors. This is the indexability check.

Expert level

The ultimate guide to robots.txt »

The robots.txt file is a file you can use to tell search engines where they can and cannot go on your site. Learn how to use it to your advantage!

Must read articles about Crawl directives

Recent Crawl directives articles

This guide discusses what hreflang is, what it is for and gives in-depth information on how to implement it for your multilingual websites.

How does a search engine get that search result? The process consists of three parts: crawling, indexing and ranking. Let's focus on indexing at Google.

What is crawlability? In what ways could you block Google from crawling (parts of your) site? Why is crawlability important for SEO?

Browse through our Crawl directives content posts. »