Humans.txt file Should you use it on your website ?

What is Humans.txt?

Every website has a person or team behind it.For example Udinra belongs to me.I am the person behind it.Trust of a visitor increases if they know persons behind a site.Lets say you visited site A which is good but does not provide any information about their owner.They do have Facebook page and Twitter account by that business name.But no where you find the team behind it.

After this you visited a site which has a team page.The page provides brief details about person behind the website.They provide you Facebook profile and Twitter profiles of the members.This will automatically increase your trust in website.This also makes visitors comfortable.

Humans.txt is an initiative in this direction only.It is simple text file located on your server web root directory.The file provides details about person or team behind the website.We will later in this post see Humans.txt format and sample file.

Who is using Humans.txt?

Before using humans.txt I asked this question to myself.If it is used my major players on Internet then it can be used.It will also give an idea of format used on those sites.Below is the list of some sites using humans.txt along with content of them.

    Google.com

Google uses humans.txt file.I will like to to see humans.txt file of Google.It is couple of sentences about Google without mentioning anything about the persons behind it.

    Labol.org

    Labnol is an popular blog.You can see the humans.txt file of Labnol here.Like Google it has single line.It says that Amit Agarwal is person behind the blog and also category of the blog.

      humanstxt.org

    They have come with a standard for Humans.txt file.They have also created their file as per the standard.But Google and Labnol humans.txt file does not follow their standard.But they have come up with structured template.The template is divided into sections like Teams and Thanks.

    These were some of the sites using or advocating usage of the file.But there were sites which are not using it.They are Bing,Amazon,Moz.Moz is popular blog on SEO.While other sites do not need any introduction.So there was mixed results.Humans.txt is not in wide spread usage.It is used by some prominent sites but not most.But as Google is using it I decided to create one for this site.

    There was nothing wrong in using the file.It may not impact Google search ranking.But as Google is using it and other popular blog is using there can only be positive impact.It combined with several other factors may help Google decide trust factor of the website.

    Creating Humans.txt for your website

    Now if you are interested in creating the file then follow this step by step tutorial.I will be using mixture of Google’s file and standard laid by Humanstxt.org.

      Step 1:

    Create a file humans.txt inside your www directory (web server root directory).This is the same location you have your robots.txt file.You can also create the file on your desktop.It will be easy to create the file on desktop and then upload it on your server.

      Step 2:

    Below is the humans.txt file I am using.As mentioned above it contains format used by Google and Labnol.Along with that it also uses the standard used by humanstxt.org website.You need to replace placeholders as per your requirements.

    Udinra(Site Name) is a popular blog authored by Esha Upadhyay(Author Name). Follow the author at udinra.com/esha-upadhyay/ (Your About page link)
    
    /* TEAM */ (Provide team details as per format mentioned below for each member)
    	Webmaster:Esha Upadhyay
    	Contact: https://udinra.com/contact-me
    	Twitter: @Udinra
    	Location: Kolkata, India
    	From: Varanasi, India
    
    /* SITE */ (Some basic site information)
    	Language: English
    	Site name:  Udinra
    	Site URL:   https://udinra.com/
    
    /* TECHNOLOGY COLOPHON */ (Some technical details)
    	Standards: HTML5, CSS3
    	Components: LESS, HTML5 Shiv, jQuery
    	Software: Notepad++, GIMP, FireFox with add-ons: Web Developer, Firebug
    

    I have also created Github page as well.So you can contribute there as well.In my file the first two lines are inline with Google format of the file.Rest of the content (starting from /* Site to end of the file) is from humanstxt standard.

    Humanstxt also instructs to add link to humans.txt file as shown below

    <link rel="author" url="URL of the file" />
    

    I am linking to my Google Plus profile using above link.So I did not add one more author link.I do not think this is required.The bots can read your humans.txt file.Also the example sites mentioned above does not have such tag.

    The other thing humanstxt.org mentions is to link the file from your web pages.Something like

    <a href="URL of the file">Humans.txt</a>
    

    I have not included this as well.But in case you want to add the link then you can add them on your website.

    Conclusion

    Technically it is simple text file located in your web server root directory.A person can enter any information (right or wrong) in this file.So manipulating the file is very simple.With this drawbacks I do not think Google will ever consider its presence or content while ranking a page.

    But the content of this file along with other information on web page may help Google make decision about authenticity of website.For example on web page you have mentioned post author name and Twitter details.But in Humans.txt file you have entered different information.Then in that case Google may think the information shared by the person is not matching.So this website may not be reliable.

    Recall that Google initiated Authorship photos and markup.The sole aim of that was to get idea about person behind the website.This will in turn help them identify spam websites.So this file might also be very small factor in deciding spam website.

    So I will advocate using it.Also provide the same information you have on your website in it as well.Not using it is fine but using it with wrong content may be problematic for you.

    Are you using humans.txt file on your website? Do share your thoughts on this.

One thought on “Humans.txt file Should you use it on your website ?

  1. I love humas.txt ! I think it is a cleaver way of giving credits to the people that work hard behind the scenes 🙂

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