Skip to article content

The content that you create for a MyST site is static, and served to users as a server-side rendered application. This means that all the HTML is accessible on request by a search engine crawlers, as well as is speedy and accessible for users when they browse.

Social Previews

Social previews show up on tools like Twitter, Slack, or many other places that you might share a link to your content. For these to work, they require a title, description and an optional thumbnail. These can be set directly in your document frontmatter.

title: Search Engines and Social
description: How to have your site content indexed by Google and support rich link previews.
thumbnail: ./thumbnails/seo-and-social.png

If you do not specify an image the first image in the content of a page will be selected. If you explicitly do not want an image, set thumbnail to null. The thumbnail is also optimized (i.e. to use webP over png to save up to 34% on each image) and resized for use in listings and index pages.

The thumbnail, title and description for your document will also show up in site links in a hover tooltip. For example, here is a link to Interactive Notebooks with MyST.


A robots.txt file allows you to allow or disallow crawling from search engines, for example from Googlebot. By default the robots.txt is set to allow in the site configuration, which creates this file when you visit your URL at robots.txt.


User-agent: *
Allow: /

To disallow querying from robots, you can turn the robots: disallow

  robots: disallow

This will turn the Allow: / to Disallow: /, which will indicate to search engine crawlers to not crawl any URLs. This is a good setting for trasient sites or sites that are showing, for example, changes on a pull-request.


The sitemap.xml is always created and is accessible through sitemap.xml, which lists all of the pages in your site, including any nested projects. This XML Sitemap is generated automatically to make your content more visible for search engines.

To make the sitemaps easy to read by humans as well as machines, we have included a sitemap_style.xsl to style the data and give quick analytics about the number of pages on the site.

MyST MarkdownMyST Markdown
Community-driven tools for the future of technical communication and publication