Today Google sent out TONS of warning emails, via Google Webmaster Tools Search Console,  telling webmasters that “Googlebot cannot access CSS and JS files” on their website.

While in some cases this MAY be true, for nearly all of the warnings we received, the warning proved to be completely unfounded.*

Emails from GoogleIn most of the cases, any blocked directories in the robots.txt file were intentionally blocked, and contained no JS or CSS files anyway for Google to even need.

In only one single case that I’ve checked so far was the /wp-content/ folder blocked, which is where the themes CSS and JS files are.

This one below, for example, has absolutely nothing blocked except /wp-admin which is exactly what I want.  Google doesn’t need access to my admin folder!

Googlebot cannot access

Thanks Google for the heads up, but rather than scare people unnecessarily, I think better phrasing would have been “GoogleBot MAY not be able to access your  CSS and JS (JavaScript) files”, don’t you?

Google then could have gone on to say something like, “Review your blocked folders, and make sure that whatever you’ve blocked is intentional.”. Look at all of the comments by confused webmasters.

I think this is just another example of Google over-reaching and trying to do to much, and in this case, their phrasing turned out to provide incorrect information.

*Update 8/1/2015 –   After further research, and seeing what otherslike Yoast have written and recommended about this issue, it’s clear that some WordPress plugins could conceivably be creating .JS or .CSS files that Google actually could need.

This doesn’t change the premise of my post,  that Google should have used the words “MAY not be able to…”,  but going forward, I will *not*  block Google even from the /wp-admin folder 

 

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