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How to stop search engines from crawling website using nginx

Stop search engines from crawling website using simple Nginx location directive to provide robots.txt file.

This is a straightforward solution as it will return a defined response and 200 OK status code for /robots.txt request regardless of the file’s existence.

location = /robots.txt {
    add_header Content-Type text/plain;
    return 200 "User-agent: *\nDisallow: /\n";
}

You can use this solution to define a default robots.txt file.

location = /robots.txt {                                                                                        
    try_files /robots.txt @robots.txt;
} 

location @robots.txt {
    add_header Content-Type text/plain;                                                                           
    return 200 "User-agent: *\nDisallow: /\n";
}

This will ensure that default content will be served only when the application does not provide its own robots.txt file.