djbaxter

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
3,513
Reaction score
1,660
I had this discussion on the Xenforo support forum and just updated it today.

You can safely ignore these "warnings". See Google Search Console reporting less mobile friendly pages

Case in point:

I just received this email from Google tonight (Oct 20, 2019, timestamp 7.07 pm EDT) regarding the contact us page of one of the sites I manage:

The following issues were found on your site:

Clickable elements too close together

Text too small to read
That site is not new. It's a responsive WordPress site for a small business and it has seen a reasonably good amount of traffic for a local rural small business. No one has ever complained about usability issues of any kind. The only thing that might remotely qualify are the AddThis social share buttons at the bottom of pages or posts. Remember this is the Contact Us page. There's not much on that page except a contact form and the sidebar.

But here's the clincher:

Immediately after receiving Google's email, I went to the Google Mobile Friendly Test site and entered the URL for that page. Here's what Google's own Mobile Friendly Test says:

Tested on: Oct 20, 2019 at 7:56 PM (49 minutes later, during which absolutely nothing about the site has changed)
Page is mobile friendly
This page is easy to use on a mobile device
Google's own mobile test site disagrees with the Google Search Console algorithm.

So which are you supposed to believe? An automatic algorithmically-derived email from Search Console? Or the evidence from Google's own test site and your own eyes and those of the site owners and users?

I always double check when I get one of those emails but I don't believe them. Note that in Search Console it identifies the source of the purported "errors" as the "Smartphone crawler" (at least if you've been moved to the Mobile First index which most by now have).

Try this: after you get one of those emails, go to the Search Console and just click on Validate Fix (without actually changing anything). I've just done this for the latest email but when I've done that for other sites I'll get an email back in a couple of days saying thanks - it's fine now. I'll let you know what happens in this case.

UPDATE
As noted above, after receiving that email, i changed nothing on the site. I simply went to the Search Console, clicked on the link to say I had fixed it for both listed "errors", and waited for validation of the fix.

I checked Search Console again today. Remember that I changed absolutely nothing on the site. Today Search Console indicates that it had rechecked and validated my "fixes" and now it confirms that the mobility issue no longer exists:
mobility-issue-validated.png
 

djbaxter

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
3,513
Reaction score
1,660
Also got the emails tonight:

Mobile Usability issues successfully fixed for site XXXXXXXX

To owner of XXXXXXXX

Google has validated your fix of Mobile Usability issues on site XXXXXXXX. The specific issue validated was 'Clickable elements too close together'.

1 pages on your site were validated as fixed.

and

Mobile Usability issues successfully fixed for site XXXXXXXX

To owner of XXXXXXXX,

Google has validated your fix of Mobile Usability issues on site XXXXXXXX. The specific issue validated was 'Text too small to read'.

1 pages on your site were validated as fixed.
 

djbaxter

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
3,513
Reaction score
1,660
One possible cause of this is that a supporting file (CSS, etc.) is temporarily unavailable, triggering the warning.
But I think that would trigger a different warning. Or it should. This is not an isolated occurrence. Every case of "mobility issues" I have seen has been like this. I just better documented this latest one to make a point that the warnings are usually bogus - and that their system is obviously seriously flawed.
 

Wirenut

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Messages
105
Reaction score
39
This has been happening to me for a long time, exactly as you explained it. I always just figured it was a script or something that didn't load properly.
 

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Messages
735
Reaction score
526
One followup here... It's important to always check. I received a notice this morning and it was a false positive (as usual) but it was for a dummy testimonial page the dev had left live, complete with plastic surgeon testimonials on a dentist's site!
 

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Messages
735
Reaction score
526
A new statement from John Muller on this issue:
Google determines mobile usability results based on the ability to render pages in a way that matches what a user would see on their device. Sometimes they may face issues when fetching the CSS or JavaScript files and this will display a small number of issues, with regards to mobile usability, in Google Search Console. However, John advised that these are usually based on temporary fluctuations in Google's ability to fetch individual files, but it will not affect the indexing of these pages.
Google Webmaster Hangout Notes: November 26th 2019 - DeepCrawl
 

djbaxter

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
3,513
Reaction score
1,660
Sometimes they may face issues when fetching the CSS or JavaScript files and this will display a small number of issues, with regards to mobile usability, in Google Search Console.
In my experience, it's much more than a "small number of issues" but it's nice to see it acknowledged.
 

Wirenut

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2019
Messages
105
Reaction score
39
Funny you bump this thread now, yesterday I got an email saying that I had 2 issues with a page on my website. I clicked on Validate last night without making any changes. This morning I see that it passes again. The same thing happens every few weeks.

Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 10.06.56 AM.png
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
M Google Search Console Errors "Coverage and Breadcrumbs"? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
djbaxter Google services down Dec 14, 2020: Google Ads, Google Analytics, Search Console, more Google News: Important Changes & Features 1
pbarnhart Google Search Console Merging UTM'd URLs into Canonical URLs - Suggestions? Local SEO Tools & Software 5
djbaxter Google Search Console: New and improved crawl stats for your site Organic SEO 0
JoyHawkins Search Console vs Google My Business (GMB) Insights: A Large Case Study Google My Business & Google Maps 4
Barb Davids Google Search Console Bug? Local SEO Tools & Software 2
B Google Search Console Security Issue Local Search 10
Digitaldar Google Search Console Date Screen Issue Organic SEO 0
djbaxter Google's Search Console Training Video Series Local Search 0
M Google Search Console error? Local Search 4
Nathan_NZ Adding New Users in Google Search Console - Help Needed Organic SEO 2
djbaxter Preferred Domain in Google Search Console deprecated Google News: Important Changes & Features 4
H Site Change of Address issue in Google Search Console Organic SEO 2
S How to get a DNS-verified Search Console domain to connect with Google Analytics? Organic SEO 3
Meguinness Google search console url format Organic SEO 4
djbaxter Google WordPress Plugin to Integrate Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, PageSpeed Websites, Software, and Security 4
djbaxter Google Search Console bug? Suddenly multiple messages about Mobility Usability Mobile & Social 10
J Blocked Resources on Google Search Console Local Search 3
Dan Foland Starting to see Google Search Console snippet in search results. Anyone else? Google News: Important Changes & Features 4
djbaxter On Google Search Console Organic SEO 0
djbaxter Google: New URL inspection tool & more in Search Console Organic SEO 0
F Google Search Console Issue Local Search 4
Rich Owings Hacked URLs showing up as 404s in Google Search Console Organic SEO 18
H Does Google Search Console Show impressions and clicks from GMB? Local Search 4
DanLeibson Google Search Consoles Search Analytics Report is Not To Be Trusted Local SEO Tools & Software 3
djbaxter Brightlocal Tool shows Large Google Local Search Algorithm Update March 10, 2021 Google Algorithm Discussions 1
djbaxter Webinar Get together with Google Search at Search Central Live - February 23, 2021 Events 0
Lluc Google launches Years in Business in Search Google My Business & Google Maps 3
djbaxter A (home) movie about how Google Search works Organic SEO 0
djbaxter Google Updates Search Quality Raters Guidelines Google News: Important Changes & Features 0
djbaxter SEO myth-busting: What is NOT a Google search ranking factor Organic SEO 3
jimmydoubleu Google business not listed/found on Search/Map after merge Google Duplicates & Merges 6
D SERPRiver - Google Search API in Real-Time to Scrape Search Results Recycle Bin 0
diptimayee Google Updated Its "How Search Works" Page Google News: Important Changes & Features 2
A Updating sitelinks in Google search for 404 pages Organic SEO 6
djbaxter New SEO Tool: Was There A Google Update Search Site Organic SEO 0
P Sudden near disappearance from Google My Business search results Help & Support for Google Local 2
J Google Business not showing up in search. Business not suspended and is verified Google My Business & Google Maps 5
PaulSteinbrueck GMB info in right sidebar for Google search? Local Search 5
A Google Maps Showing Different Map When Searching Name vs. Address Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Colan Nielsen Google Really Pushing Competitor Listings on Knowledge Panels and Branded Searches Google News: Important Changes & Features 4
djbaxter Google's Zero-Click Searches: How to get your traffic back Organic SEO 0
mattrigg Branded Paid Search - Impacts Google My Business from showing Paid Search and Local Service Ads 6
Ian Hammond "Your business is verified and is currently being connected to Google Search and Maps" (30+ days) Help & Support for Google Local 3
L Why is Google showing different categories for this business in the same search/view? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 3
L Google now allows Site Owners to Customize the Search Results Snippets, but what can be customized? Google News: Important Changes & Features 1
Yan Gilbert Icons in Google Desktop Search Results Local Search 2
Cordell Crowley Google Showing "Businesses You Manage" in search results? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
Srinath Dynamic matching of Google My Business categories to search queries? Google My Business & Google Maps 1
L How to Remove Non-GMB Location from Google Search? Local Search 2

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

Trending: Most Viewed

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert


Top Bottom