What the “Googlebot Cannot Access CSS and JS Files” Webmaster Tools Message Means


This is what the Googlebot email looks like once opened.

This past week, many of our Adventure Web clients received emails from Google informing them that Googlebot is currently unable to access some of their website files. The email included some instructions on how to allow access, but many who received the email are skeptical about what to do next.

Clients who received the Googlebot email about their websites are verified Google Search Console webmasters. The email states that CSS and JavaScript files could not be accessed by the site’s search crawler Googlebot. Access to these files has been blocked Wordfence, the security plugin for WordPress, because of an automatic default in the program due to a lack of robots.txt files. Other popular CMS solutions, like Joomla, have also defaulted which files to block from crawlers like Googlebot.

Why an Email Now?

Google made the change last year to render a full page as a web user would see it. Back in October, they then changed their guidelines to no longer block these files. This resulted in Google not being able to successfully view a full site, which could then lead to what Google has put as “suboptimal rankings.”

What to do Next?

In so many words, nothing needs to be done. The emails are only a warning from Google stating that not all files are accessible to Googlebot. Because there is no way currently for Google to tell the difference between the files, they only see a block. It is important to note that these blocks are occurring based on a backend security plugin, which crawlers like Googlebot do not need, nor should they need, access to. These design and frontend programming files won’t have any impact on website indexing because the content of the site is still being scanned. It is also important to note that CSS and JavaScript files only affect how Google will see the design of the website, not the content or index ability.

Still have Questions?

The staff at Adventure Web Interactive will be following any updates should they arise with the Googlebot emails and are encouraging our clients to continue to keep these files blocked. We are also working to update the robots.txt files in order to accommodate the new Google changes while still maintaining the necessary security for your site.

If you have any questions about Googlebot please contact Adventure Web Interactive by calling (410)-788-7007 or by clicking here today! Our friendly staff is ready to answer any questions you may have and help you along your journey to a new website and new opportunities.

To learn more about blogging, along with other web marketing and design services provided by Adventure Web Interactive, download our free eBook today!