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Feature suggestion: Improve Google mobile scores

By Christian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-03-31 12:27:49.624Z

When I google something on the forum, it says "Your site is not mobile friendly".
I bet this must hurt the placement of search results in Google quite much.
Perhaps it would make sense to research how to improve this so that Google doesn't penalize based on this?

  • 8 replies
  1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-03-31 15:30:49.893Z

    I had a look here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly?view=fetch-info and from the rendered page screenshot, it looks to me as if Google's bot disregards the stylesheet file, renders the page as if there was no stylesheet.

    I'm wondering if the relevant Google bot somehow won't / cannot access the stylesheet, because of robots.txt or if the CDN somehow thinks Google's bot is a bad bot.

    Talkyard's robots.txt https://www.talkyard.io/robots.txt is:

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /-/
    

    and the stylesheet files are at: /-/assets/v0.6.60-WIP-1/styles-bundle.min.css — but shouldn't the relevant Google bot go and fetch the stylesheet in spite of robots.txt, when there's a <link rel=stylesheet> to it.

    I can experiment with this, and look at StackOverflow

    1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-03-31 18:52:05.597Z

      @chrscheuer — Seems robots.txt is the problem. I find lots of blog post that write things like "If you block CSS and JS files in yourrobots.txt file, Google can’t render your website like intended. This, in return, makes that Google won’t understand your website to the fullest and might even result in lower rankings" (https://yoast.com/dont-block-css-and-js-files/ )

      I'll change to:

      User-agent: *
      Disallow: /-/
      Allow: /-/assets/
      

      in the upcoming version.

      Thanks for reporting this. Will be interesting to see how Google's search tools render the pages, thereafter.

      1. CChristian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-04-06 14:06:59.731Z

        Thanks!
        I don't know if you changed this yet - here's another report, they still seem to be off in Google:
        https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly?utm_source=gws&utm_medium=metaline&utm_campaign=notmobilefriendy&id=etsiFbQ2a8_t8XddgkD-Gw

        I will also try to figure out why if I just search normally on Google, none of our thousands of forum pages come up.
        So it would definitely be interesting to see if there's any additional SEO that could be done automatically to the forum pages.

        1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-04-07 13:40:38.522Z

          (I didn't change this yet — I've been upgrading from Webdriverio v4 to v6, almost done now.
          v4 mostly stopped working, and since I need to run the e2e tests before new releases, this felt a bit urgent.)

          1. CChristian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-04-07 15:41:24.142Z

            Completely understand :)

            1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2020-04-17 09:01:17.135Z

              Now it's mobile friendly:

              https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly?utm_source=gws&utm_medium=metaline&utm_campaign=notmobilefriendy&id=93iEV4Kv3fSn9Eehaqh9Og
              Tested on: Apr 17, 2020 at 10:56 AM
              Page is mobile friendly
              This page is easy to use on a mobile device
              

              The robots.txt file got updated some days ago, with the new version — but that had no effect: the CDN kept using its own robots.txt which blocked all bots:

              User-agent: *
              Disallow: /
              

              ... and the page remained not-mobile-friendly, from Googlebot's perspective. Now 10 minutes ago, though, I configured the CDN to use Talkyard's robots.txt (instead of its own), and after that, with the below robots.txt. Google now thinks the page is mobile friendly.

              The robots file: https://c1.ty-cdn.net/robots.txt

              User-agent: *
              Disallow: /-/
              # Googlebot needs the CSS files to know that Talkyard is mobile friendly.
              # Probably good to let it access Javascript too?
              Allow: /-/assets/
              

              Hmm, some images and other custom styles and fonts don't get loaded
              maybe /-/media/ (with images and fonts) should be allowed too. Googlebot likes images and fonts? Hmm

              1. CChristian Scheuer @chrscheuer2020-04-17 14:35:19.925Z

                Great work! Hopefully this will improve SEO as well.

    2. Progress
      with handling this problem
    3. @KajMagnus marked this topic as Started 2020-04-20 03:58:56.156Z.