An SEO professional was concerned about their pages failing mobile usability tests. More specifically, the error they were getting was that text is too small.
They were concerned about the mobile usability issues and whether or not their pages would remain indexed.
John replied that these pages should still be indexed. There should not be any major issues where mobile usability tests are concerned – this would not cause your site to be deindexed.
They can still index your pages. Sometimes, it could be that Google is unable to crawl the CSS files for a brief period of time, and they are unable to see the entire layout when it loads.
If they show up in the mobile testing tool, when you test the layout manually, then just leave it be. It’s likely to go back to normal again.
John also explained that Google does have to follow robots.txt. In robots.txt, if you block the CSS files, then Google is unable to see how the page looks.
Although the browser does not look at robots.txt, Google does when they crawl the site.If you block something critical like the CSS file, then Google has no idea what your page looks like.
This happens at approximately the 00:36 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 1 0:36
Hi, John. Hi. So my question is: for the past two days, a few of my web pages have been considered, you know, they’re failing for mobile usability tests, due to you know, the text, text is too small. So could this be possible, if you fail for one of the mobile usability errors, your pages won’t be indexed? That is something related to that?
They should definitely still be indexed. Even if they’re not completely mobile friendly, we would still index them. The mobile friendliness criteria is something that we use as a small factor within the mobile search results. But we definitely still index those pages. And sometimes this kind of issue can come up temporarily, where maybe we can’t crawl one of the CSS files for a brief time and then we don’t see the full layout. If you test your pages manually in the testing tool, and they look okay, then I would just let it be. It’ll kind of pop back to normal again.
SEO Professional 1 1:46
But is it different than how a mobile usability tool works? And a browser when you know, they start rendering the page? Because the problem is just that that tool shows no mobile usability failed due to the small text, but on the mobile or the browser? The Chrome was a Chrome browser, I see the, you know, the page has properly been loaded, there are no such issues.
Yes, so in particular, we have to follow the robots. txt. And in the robots. txt file, it can happen that you blocked something from being crawled, which could be something like the CSS file, which kind of tells us how the page should look like. So in a browser, the browser doesn’t look at the robots. txt. But when we crawl the page, we do look at the robots. txt. So that could definitely be something where it’s different when we look at it than when you look at it.