Media reports at the beginning of this week indicate that the Internal Revenue Service, under directions from the United States Treasury Department, are revising Free Filing agreements for internet tax returns software providers and their parent companies. The new ruling will require them to make their landing pages for Free Filing available for indexing by search engines — in direct contradiction to earlier promises by the federal government not to interfere with e-file services in the free marketplace.
The key use of robotic directives will restrict pages indexed or crawled by SEB (search engine bots), which can keep them from showing up as legitimate search results. This, in turn, usually influences how consumers will interact with a brand or discover services/products being made available — such as when successful internet tax filing platform used robot text or combined with meta robots to suppress no-fee e-file services from popping up in regular search results. But now those pages will probably show up for most search results — sending consumers to available free options that they otherwise would not have known existed.
This is a clear indication that the federal government is no longer turning a blind eye to SEO when it hides vital information for the public interest.