During a hangout, one SEO professional submitted a question to John Mueller about the htaccess file.
Their question was: does Googlebot read the htaccess file?
John said that the short answer is no. Because usually, the server is configured in such a way that Googlebot cannot access that file, or nobody can access the htaccess file externally.
The longer answer to this question is that the htaccess file controls how your server responds to certain requests, assuming you’re using an Apache server, which uses this as a control file.
And, if your server is using this file to control how it responds to certain requests, then of course, Google and anyone else will see the effects from that.
So, assuming that this is a control file on your server, it’s not that Google would read the file and do something with it.
But rather, Google would see the effects of that file.
So if you need to use this file to control certain kinds of behavior on your website, feel free to go for it.
This happens at approximately the 16:31 mark in the video.