The X-Robots-Tag is an HTTP header element specifically related to SEO. While many are familiar with the
robots.txt file or the meta “robots” tag that guide search engine crawlers on what pages or content to index or avoid, the X-Robots-Tag serves a similar purpose but with greater flexibility.
The X-Robots-Tag can apply indexing directives not just to HTML content, but also to non-HTML content types such as PDFs, images, and other file formats. For instance, if you wanted to prevent search engines from indexing a particular PDF on your website, you’d use the X-Robots-Tag in the HTTP header for that file.
Common directives include “noindex” (prevents the content from being indexed) and “nofollow” (tells search engines not to follow the links in the content).
In essence, the X-Robots-Tag provides a granular level of control over how search engines interact with and display content, ensuring that webmasters can optimize visibility and direct crawlers effectively across varied content types.