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Google Search Console Warnings

We explain the issues often reported in search console notifications. #

The console will sometimes send notifications about the following mobile usability issues found on pages. These error messages should be examined and acted upon if they are relevant. There is no penalty for such warnings. They are only provided for information purposes. 

These warnings are sometimes triggered when the Search Console fails to read and execute all of the required page resources before judging the page. Click the screenshots below to see how it can view the same page differently just minutes apart. The first shows a failed result. The second result is successful. The point of this example is that the warnings should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Clickable elements too close together 

“Links should have 48×48 device equivalent pixels padding” around them according to the Google developer documentation. This requirement might not be appropriate for certain page content, such as clickable graphics that are placed directly adjacent to each other. Certain layouts or galleries may also trigger this error.

If you like your layout it can generally be ignored.

Text too small to read

According to Google, fonts on mobile screens should be 12px or larger. Certain fonts in the WonderWebs Bootstrap template that were 11px have now been bumped to 12px for mobile devices. This includes the SigninPane, BreadCrumbs and FooterLinks. Several other seldom-used defaults have also been changed to 12px for all screens.

In addition to font-size, the number of words in a text column may also trigger this issue message. Classic readability theory suggests that an ideal column should contain 70 to 80 characters per line. Recent sites with ‘mobile-first’ single-column design may trigger this warning.

Adjust widths or fonts if necessary, or ignore the message if you like your layout.

Content wider than screen

Check pages for overflowing content. If a page scrolls/swipes horizontally on a mobile device then something within the content is wider than the content column. This may be an image you inserted, or it could be a fault in the layout.

Viewport not set

The WonderWebs Bootstrap template follows the correct responsive design guidelines and has the correct viewport
 



Test the page yourself

Use the Google Mobile Usability Tester to see if any issues are persistent.

Ask for assistance or advice with any of the above.

Updated on 5 December 2023

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