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Google Webmasters Fetch As Google And Blocked Resources Inconsistent


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#1 JulianMc

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 10:49 AM

How does that work? Fetch as Google and Blocked Resources
 
On 13/3/15 I realised that there was a new page called Blocked Resources on Webmaster Tools listing js/css that Google couldn't access. It differed from Fetch as Google in that Google tracking codes and social media links shown as inaccessible in Fetch were no longer shown on this page. Also the help screen made a big case of why Google needed to crawl js/css so that it could understand how the page rendered.
 
In our case, two blocked scripts from Trustpilot were listed. Maybe this was Google catching up with Panda 4 and finally telling site owners they would penalise js/css that they couldn't crawl. Accordingly we removed Trustpilot and notified them what we were doing and why. With Trustpilot gone we did a Fetch and Render to check that only Google's own stuff was left then submitted the site to index.
 
Six days later, there is no improvement to our visibility. In Blocked Resources instead of zero blocked resources there are now 2 more added to the still present Trustpilot. The 2 new blocked resources are even more of a mystery, a basket summary script and another Trustpilot script, both from a page downloaded 8 months ago!
 
How does Google want us to deal with this? Fetch as Google and Blocked Resources are telling a different story with the latter dredging up long out of date data.
 
10 months ago Panda 4 hammered our rankings down. We partially recovered when one of the enlightened few told us that there was now a penalty for js/css that Google couldn't crawl. We made the scripts and styles that we controlled on our site crawlable and recovered about half our lost visibility however our Google ranks still remain depressed and the cause is as unclear as ever. We thought the blocked Trustpilot scripts might be the answer but so far that is not evident. 
 
We'd like to have our livelihood back. Can anyone explain what is happening (or should be happening) and what it means.
 


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 12:20 PM

 

 

We'd like to have our livelihood back. Can anyone explain what is happening (or should be happening) and what it means.

 

Don't rely on Google for it then!

 

 

 

 few told us that there was now a penalty for js/css that Google couldn't crawl. 

 

They are not that enlightened then. There is no actual 'penalty' for that as Google advised for a long while to exclude js & CSS from being crawled. Unless you are using js or CSS for nefarious purposes or intent. However there may be a "shoot yourself in foot 'penalty' " in the offing for NOT allowing Google to crawl style sheets on a 'responsive' site as they are using CSS in their "mobile friendly search" algorithms, which is where the 'Blocked Content' suggestion comes from.



#3 Jill

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 09:43 AM

It's highly unlikely the blocked resources is a problem for you, unless of course you want people to see those.

 

Have you read the 18 things that might be killing your Google traffic? As well as how to do seo now and forever?



#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 21 March 2015 - 11:07 AM

Google's Panda algorithm is looking at things on the page.  Blocked resources are not going to impact that in most cases, although it's possible that remotely-hosted scripts might provide layout that -- if Google cannot render it -- might prevent a Panda downgrade.

 

The blocked resources report was introduced to help people who are trying to make their sites mobile-friendly and failing the Mobile Friendly Test Google has shared.


Edited by Michael Martinez, 21 March 2015 - 11:07 AM.


#5 JulianMc

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 05:28 AM

From our experience I have absolutely no doubt that there is a Google Panda 4 penalty for blocked js/css. What we experienced matches very closely what is reported by Yoast here: http://www.highranki...nt/#entry338744 . In our case it was a basket summary script blocked by robots.txt and "why would Google ever want to spider it?". When the block was removed there was an almost immediate recovery of around 50% of our former visibility. I'm still trying to find the other 50%.

 

The "why" is answered by Google on their help page for Blocked Resources. If Google can't see and render elements of a web page that the ordinary web user can, how can they assess the quality of the page? It could be innocent stuff like a view of your shopping basket contents and some excellent Trustpilot reviews like us or it could be malicious and offensive.



#6 chrishirst

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 06:12 AM

This 'problem' is indicative of only one thing, ... ...

 

 

 

 

 

... ... 

 

You should NEVER rely on "Search" traffic.



#7 Jill

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 08:29 AM

So were your shopping basket pages the ones that lost traffic?



#8 JulianMc

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 09:55 AM

The script exists on every page of our site and opens a box displaying the current contents of the shopping basket without having to leave the page you are on. The loss of Google rank was across the whole site also although the amount of loss varied, presumably on the popularity of the page and level of competition.

 

Our shopping basket page, like the checkout pages, are blocked by robots.txt on the grounds that these are process pages that contain no static, indexable content.



#9 chrishirst

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 10:59 AM

 

 

 The loss of Google rank was across the whole site also 

 

Rank?? I thought you were talking about real traffic?



#10 Jill

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 02:14 PM

The script exists on every page of our site and opens a box displaying the current contents of the shopping basket without having to leave the page you are on.

 

 

Sounds like a good thing to be blocked from being crawled by robots, to me.

 

It also sounds like perhaps there was a coincidence that you got back some traffic after you made that change, and then you innocently attributed it to the change. Pretty common for people to mix up cause and effect in SEO. We used to joke here about how we found that the mornings we put a cabbage on our monitors, we'd also see higher search engine rankings. :) I'd be surprised if your unblocking whatever it was you unblocked wasn't basically your own form of cabbage :D



#11 JulianMc

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 04:49 AM

I'm not convinced. From looking around the SEO forums it looks as though quite a few other sites have experienced the same coincidence. Would it also be a coincidence that Google just happened to add two tools to WMT that showed what Google can and can't see and what blocked resources there was on a site?

 

I don't think we'll be hiding the view basket script again any time soon.



#12 chrishirst

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 04:54 AM

Your choice of course and had it been anything other than just the 'rankings' that you see, we might agree with you. However; ... ...



#13 Michael Martinez

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 10:22 AM

Panda has absolutely nothing to do with blocked resources.  So far the only Google algorithm that has been tied to blocked resources is the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm.






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