Hypertext Access or .htaccess is a file type employed by Apache-based web servers. It is used to control the directory that it is found in. This is a handy file to have on your website as it provides numerous advantages for SEO and it can be used in a variety of ways to meet SEO goals.
The file is also very useful when it comes to fixing two specific page errors namely the “Unreachable” and “Not Found” page errors. When these errors pop up on your webmaster tools, the .htaccess file can be used to correct them.
It can be used to password protect folders that contain sensitive information, thus ensuring that the information is not indexed in search results. Secondly the .htaccess file can also be used to ban certain IP addresses from the site and it is also very useful when you want redirect users to another page automatically. Long URLs can also be rewritten to a shorter one using a .htaccess file – and shorter URLs perform better on SEO rankings as well as being more memorable.
One of the biggest benefits of a .htaccess file is that the changes made in these files are reflected immediately, as opposed to waiting on a server to restart.
The uses of .htacess files are varied but it is one of the most powerful tools that and SEO team can utilize for a website, and it is imperative that it be included in any SEO campaign.