[drupal-devel] [feature] Introduce crawl delay in robots.txt

TDobes drupal-devel at drupal.org
Thu Mar 31 06:41:13 UTC 2005

Issue status update for http://drupal.org/node/14177

 Project:      Drupal
 Version:      cvs
 Component:    other
 Category:     feature requests
 Priority:     minor
 Assigned to:  bertboerland at www.drop.org
 Reported by:  bertboerland at www.drop.org
 Updated by:   TDobes
 Status:       patch

The robots.txt referenced here as the "old" one is not actually old...
it's from the contrib CVS.  Here's the old robots.txt [1].  It
disallows everything, so I wouldn't recommend it.
I also would have to say -1 to adding the robots.txt file from contrib
(referenced in comment #1) to core, as it disallows some things I
wouldn't want to hide from crawlers. (i.e. the entire themes and
modules directory structure... what about CSS for the WayBack Machine
[2]?  Additionally, it mentions several URL's I'd prefer not to make
public (i.e. cron.php, xmlrpc.php, and scripts).  Although they should
be safeguarded in other ways, I'd prefer to not go advertising them in
a robots.txt file.  As long as they aren't linked anywhere on the site,
crawlers won't encounter them anyway.
That said, I wouldn't mind distributing Drupal with a robots.txt, even
if it's just an empty file.  As part of every new install, I usually do
a "touch robots.txt" just to avoid 404's from crawlers looking for the
file.  The crawl-delay seems like a reasonable plan as long as we know
for certain that it has no negative effects upon crawlers that do not
support it.  For sites than enable anonymous content creation, I
wouldn't mind disallowing the node/add/* pages; indexing them makes
little sense.
[2] http://web.archive.org/


Previous comments:

December 10, 2004 - 04:29 : bertboerland at www.drop.org

Though it is not "a standard" within the "non standard" robots.txt, many
bots obey the "Crawl-delay:" parameter. Since drupal sites seem to be
popular with search engines and lost of people have more aggresive bots
than visitors at their site, it might be wise to slow down the robots by
adding a robots.txt line like:
User-Agent: *
Crawl-Delay: 10

(time in seconds between page requests)
Slurp (yahoo/AV) and MSFT bots obey this paramter, Googlebot not yet
but will most likely in 2.1+
Does it makes sense to ship drupal with a default robots.txt with this
parameter? If so, then there should be something in the documentaion
about moving this to docroot in case drupal is installed in a


March 30, 2005 - 13:41 : bertboerland at www.drop.org

Seems like there is no robots.txt anymore in cvs?
The old one was something like (delay added)
# small robots.txt
# more information about this file can be found at
# http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/robots.html
# if case your drupal site is in a directory
# lower than your docroot (e.g. /drupal)
# please add this before the /-es below
# to stop a polite robot indexing an exampledir
# add a line like
# user-agent: polite-bot
# Disallow: /exampledir/
# a list of know bots can be found at
# http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/active/html/index.html
# see http://www.sxw.org.uk/computing/robots/check.html
# for syntax checking
User-agent: *
Crawl-Delay: 10
Disallow: /?q=admin
Disallow: /admin/
Disallow: /cron.php
Disallow: /xmlrpc.php
Disallow: /database/
Disallow: /includes/
Disallow: /modules/
Disallow: /scripts/
Disallow: /themes/
Disallow: */add/


March 30, 2005 - 15:26 : Morbus Iff

It appears that robots.txt was removed in 2002 [3].


March 30, 2005 - 22:02 : Uwe Hermann

There's no indication /why/ it was removed, that would be interesting.
+1 for adding a default robots.txt file, if you ask me.


March 30, 2005 - 22:18 : Morbus Iff

-1 from me - there's not enough /oh my god, it's soOOooO required/.
The [Files] rule in the .htaccess restricts ALL access to most of the
files listed in your robots.txt (could you do some more research to
find out where your copy came from? I can't find anything even remotely
like it in the CVS repos). The only additional support that your
robots.txt gives is for /?q=admin and /admin/ (largely unspiderable
already due to access errors) /cron.php and /xmlrpc.php (largely
unindexable because they return no content) and the one you've
self-professed as being even more unofficial than the
already-unofficial specs.
Arguably, the only worthwhile addition smells too much of a hack to me.

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