Google Launches Robots.txt File Checker; Now We Need Robots.txt Standardization

Very nice. Wondering how a search engine will process your robots.txt file? Google now provides a way to check on that through the Google Sitemaps program. More stats and analysis of robots.txt files from the official Inside Google Sitemaps blog explains more.

For Search Engine Watch members, the longer version of this article gives a real life example of how nice the checker is in action.

Overall, I'm thrilled with the new tool. I'd like to see the other search engines add similar ones. Even better, I'd like to see them all come together on creating an enhanced and more standardized robots.txt standard. Consider:

Postscript: Matt Cutts from Google has some good comments over here, pointing out Google also has an allow command (I've updated my list above) and further in comments to the post, explaining why they don't support crawl-delay yet because of concerns it might be set too low by mistake by some webmasters.