Should I Block Bots and Website Crawlers from My Site?

Should I Block Bots and Website Crawlers from My Site?

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Yes, but only the bad bots and website crawlers. Traffic getting to your site comes from either human or non-human sources. This can be categorized into bad bots and good bots using Google analytics. Though some will still get a way of avoiding Google Analytics, you are sure of getting the bad bots and blocking them.

Good Bots

Many bots and crawlers that frequent your site are good for you. When new content is released, Google uses crawlers that swim online following links and jumping from site to another to index them. The Google bots are complex beings that are governed by unique rules. For example, they will never follow a Nofollow file and will always respect your site’s NoIndex Command if you prefer being completely invisible. Therefore, you should never block these bots because it can make your content removed from search index and result in loss of all organic traffic.

Bad bots

Bad bots are software that searches and reaches even the content that you do not want to be searched. They do not adhere to robots directives and will reach even the content you have hidden or do not consider useful to your users. However, many of these bots do not have ways of getting through IP blocks and user agents. Therefore, they can be blocked appropriately if identified. The biggest problem for bad bots is that they access your hidden content and expose your site to hackers.

One bad bot that is very dangerous is the spam bots that crawl your site looking for comments and contact forms. Then, it fills all the fields using a predefined message such as ad, span link, or affiliate link. Another bad bot is the botnet bots that are common in service denial attacks. Botnet bots attacks are the main reasons for people taking down their sites today. The main problem with these bots is that they are released from normal computers that are malware infested and are, therefore, very difficult to identify.

How to block bad bots?

Use the robots.txt directives

Robots.txt is a unique file that bots visiting your site read and obey it if it has relevant commands. This way, you provide commands that help to block the entire site or specific pages. Besides, if you can tell the source of a specific Bot, you can block it using the Robots.txt. However, some bad bots that do not care about commands will require more advanced methods to block them.

Editing HTAccess

HTAccess is a server file that helps to block bots by adding the IP address of the source. However, the user will require identifying the source and IP address of bots. If you are dealing with spam bots, the best thing is implementing Captcha iteration that ensures only humans log into user accounts and other services you offer on site.

Conclusion

Blocking bad bots is a great way of ensuring your site is safe and enhancing user’s experience. However, good bots such as Google bots should never be blocked from your site, page, or platform. Where possible, make sure to identify as many bad bots as possible and their IP addresses to block them from your site.

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