Creating an SEO-Friendly robots.txt File for Your Shopify Site: A Step-by-Step Guide

The robots.txt file, short for “robots exclusion protocol” or “robots.txt protocol,” is a text file placed in the root directory of a website. Its primary purpose is communicating with web crawlers, informing them which parts of the website should not be crawled or indexed. The file acts as a set of instructions for search engine bots, guiding them in interacting with the website’s content.

In this detailed guide, we’ll show you how to make and improve your robots.txt file so your Shopify site’s SEO is as good as possible.

Understanding the Importance of Robots.txt File In SEO

You might be familiar with keyword research, content optimization, and backlink-building techniques when optimising your website for search engines. However, a fundamental aspect of SEO often files under the radar – the robots.txt file. This unassuming text file is crucial in determining how search engine bots interact with your website, influencing your site’s indexing and overall visibility. 

If your website’s SEO is good, you have made good backlinks, but if your website needs to be crawlable or indexable, it will not show on SERP. So make sure your website is crawlable and secure some critical pages. You do all of these with a Robots.txt file.

What Does a Robots.txt File Look Like?

A robots.txt file might sound complex, but its appearance is quite simple. Imagine it as a digital roadmap that search engine bots follow to navigate your website. This text file is typically named “robots.txt” and resides in your website’s root directory. There are two ways you can implement robots on your website. Both ways are genuine and working. 1) Using robots.txt and 2) Inline Robots.

First, Let’s take a look using the robots.txt file:

User-agent: [Name of Search Engine Bot]

Disallow: [URLs or Directories to Disallow]

Here’s a breakdown of the components:

  1. User-agent: This is where you specify the name of the search engine bot you’re giving instructions to. For example, you might use “Googlebot” for Google’s crawler or “Bingbot” for Bing’s crawler.
  2. Disallow: After specifying the user-agent, you list the URLs or directories that you want to block the bot from crawling. For instance, if you’re going to prevent the crawling of a directory named “/private,” you’d write: Disallow: /private.
  3. Allow: Optionally, you can use the “Allow” directive to indicate specific areas that can be crawled within a disallowed directory. For example: Allow: /public-content.
  4. Sitemap: You can also include a “Sitemap” directive to inform search engines about the location of your XML sitemap, which helps them better understand your site’s structure.

Now let’s check using Inline Robots:

If you want to hide a specific page from your website that people can’t see, you must use inline robots; they work the same as a robots.txt file. 

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

With this code, you can prevent your page from crawling to index. Many people use this strategy for the thank you page.

Here’s a simplified example of a robots.txt file:

User-agent: Googlebot

Disallow: /private/

Allow: /public-content/


In this example, the robots.txt file instructs the Googlebot not to crawl the “/private/” directory but allows the crawling of the “/public-content/” directory. It also provides the location of the XML sitemap.

Remember, the robots.txt file uses a simple syntax, but its impact on how search engine bots explore your website is significant. Properly configuring this file can help you control which parts of your site are indexed, enhancing your SEO strategy and site performance.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an SEO-Friendly Robots.txt File:

Research and Planning

Before you start modifying your robots.txt file, conducting thorough research is essential. Familiarise yourself with the structure of a robots.txt file and identify which sections of your site you want search engines to access and index. Take note of the irrelevant URLs, such as admin or checkout pages.

Generating Your Robots.txt File

Steps to customise the robots.txt file include:

  • Going to Online Store > Themes.
  • Clicking Actions > Edit Code.
  • Adding a new template for robots.
  • Making changes.
  • Saving the robots.txt.liquid file. 

This file will include Shopify’s default settings, which might only partially be optimised for your needs.

Customising Your Robots.txt File

It would help if you made specific adjustments to create an SEO-friendly robots.txt file tailored to your Shopify site. You can add directives that guide search engines to relevant parts of your site while disallowing access to unnecessary pages. For instance, disallow search engine crawlers from accessing your ‘checkout’ or ‘thank you’ pages, as these aren’t valuable for indexing.

Tools for Creating SEO-Friendly Robots.txt Files

Creating an SEO-friendly robots.txt file optimises your website’s interaction with search engines. While the process involves understanding the syntax and directives, you don’t have to start from scratch. There are several tools available that can assist you in generating and fine-tuning your robots.txt file to ensure it aligns perfectly with your SEO goals. If you want to check whether the robots.txt file works according to your requirements, use the Robots.txt validator


Creating an SEO-friendly robots.txt file is vital to improving your Shopify site’s search engine visibility. By allowing search engine bots to focus on valuable content and preventing them from indexing irrelevant pages, you enhance your chances of achieving higher rankings and driving organic traffic. Remember, the process involves research, customization, and optimization to align with your site’s needs. So, take the time to craft a robots.txt file that works harmoniously with your SEO strategy and watch your Shopify site’s online presence.

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