Google needs access to as many resources as possible so that it can understand your site, otherwise your ranking can be affected. Here’s why you need to make sure you don’t block Google from resources.

To fully process your mobile solution pages, Google needs to be able to view all web page resources. This includes things like JavaScript, CSS and images.

Gone are the days when search engines were primarily interested in the text content on a site. Now other elements come into how Google indexes a page, so it’s vital that you offer Google as much information as possible to allow it to understand your pages. The more information it has, the better it can comprehend pages.

CSS and Google

If Google cannot see your CSS, it may not know that your site is mobile. So if a mobile user were searching for a particular term that you had a page on, Google would view your page, see it relates to that particular term, but would also think it doesn’t look mobile friendly and so would show the searcher a different web page.

To avoid losing traffic from situations like this, you need to make sure your CSS isn’t blocked.

Although Google doesn’t exclusively show mobile results on mobile devices, it wants to provide users with the best possible results for their search queries, and this means serving mobile pages for mobile users. To rank at the top for terms with mobile users, you now need to ensure that as well as content being relevant and helpful to the searcher, they should also be mobile friendly and fast loading.

Google announced that after January 10, 2017 “pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly”, and it’s not unimaginable that Google may begin to only return results to mobile users that are made of mobile friendly sites. This is simply because these types of pages will be the most useful pages for mobile users.

How to check you’re not blocking Google

Blocking external resources will mean Google won’t be able to gather the proper understanding of your site that it requires to rank your pages highly. To ensure you’re not blocking Google you should check your robots.txt file to confirm that none of your main javascript or CSS is blocked. If you see <Disallow: /css> or <Disallow: /js> you’re probably blocking some resources and you should amend this. Make sure that you know what your page should load and ensure you’re not blocking these items from search engines.

Blocked resources on WordPress

Blocked resources are a common problem for WordPress users, with webmasters blocking the wp-contents and the wp-includes folders of the usual WordPress installation. In your robots.txt file this would look like <Disallow: /wp-content> or <Disallow: /wp-includes>. To resolve this problem you would therefore remove those lines from your robots.txt file!

It’s that simple to check you’re not blocking Google from your resources, and well worth doing to ensure your mobile page rankings don’t take a hit.

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