Why is Google search showing "A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt" for my site?

  • Issue
    When searching for your domain on Google, the result shows a essage reading: "A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt"
  • Cause
    You are using the temporary *.s4shops.com (or *.3dcartstores.com) URL as your main URL

Your store typically uses the temporary URL as a placeholder web address to allow you to work on your store while your real domain name's DNS is being transferred over.

Because the temp URL is used for the store's pages, it uses the secure SSL robots.txt file that prevents search engines from accessing and indexing secure portions of the site. Therefore, if you are still using the *.s4shops.com URL as your main store URL, the robots.txt file will prevent search engines from indexing the entire site and generate the "A description for this result is not available..." message.

The solution to correct this is to simply update your store's main URL so that it uses your real domain name rather than the shared URL. To learn how to do this properly, click here

Checking your robots.txt file

You will want to update the site's robots.txt file so that search engines index the site properly. To do this, please take the following steps:

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
  2. Using the left hand navigation menu, go to Marketing >SEO Tools
  3. Locate and click on the link labeled "Edit Robots.txt File"

You will see the Robots.txt section containing your store's regular robots.txt file. It should look like this:

Sitemap: https://[store-url]/sitemap.xml

# Disallow all crawlers access to certain pages.
User-agent: *
Disallow: /checkout.asp
Disallow: /add_cart.asp
Disallow: /view_cart.asp
Disallow: /error.asp
Disallow: /shipquote.asp
Disallow: /rssfeed.asp
Disallow: /mobile/

If the robots.txt file does not look like the above, you may click on the "Restore Default Robots.txt" link along the bottom of the window to revert it to default. This will also insert your proper domain name into the file's sitemap location. Be sure to click "Save" to keep your changes.

This will allow search engines to index your site properly.

Additional Information
The robots.txt file will still prevent indexing of certain pages like checkout.asp, add_cart.asp, view_cart.asp and others. This is because these are pages that require actions taken by real visitors (such as someone physically clicking the add to cart button on a specific product).

In other words, these are actions that cannot be performed by a bot and will result in an error if it was just randomly accessed during indexing. To prevent errors from being indexed, we disallow access to these specific pages.

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