Google Mobile Friendly and WordPress Robots.txt

Recently, there was a big “exciting” development in the webmaster and our ever loving SEO world.

For those who know it, it is known as Google Mobile Armageddon. Google is changing its search results to benefit sites that are mobile-friendly. If your site is not mobile-friendly (as deemed by the Google monster), then your search ranking will drop.

They have a page for testing whether your site is Mobile Friendly.
Google Mobile Friendly Site

These have financial implications as even my Google Adsense apps warn me of it :)
Google Adsense Warns Mobile Friendly

This web site was tested and flagged as NOT mobile friendly.
Google Mobile Test Results

Oh well, that was understandable as I was NOT using a RESPONSIVE theme anyway. Played around and decided to stick with the “Twenty Fourteen” theme given free by WordPress itself. Pretty suitable for my “magazine type” blog. It is not really easy to change a theme (despite what is told) but as compared to my first change previously (from blogspot to wordpress), it is much much easier this time. Nevertheless, after some hard work (and took the chance to clean up the site, optimise the site and ba ba ba) of changing the theme, it still failed the test :)

Well, it will help if I read the error clearly. One good thing is to check the robots.txt file in your WordPress installation as advised by the Googlebot. Turns out it’s that the robots.txt file is blocking Google from accessing the resources it needs.

For example, this was my robot.txt before:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-includes/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /wp-content/cache/
Disallow: /wp-content/themes/

Now it is:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/

After the change, don’t just wait. Inform Googlebot of the change by using the tool provided in https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/robots-testing-tool

Request Google to update robot

And then it works :)
Mobile Friendly Patnotebook

Happy camper :)

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