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Search Console Reporting Mobile Issues when there are none

     
3:27 pm on Dec 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Since Dec 1 in Google Search Console it has reporting some pages have clickable elements to close together and/or Content wider than screen. Maybe about 70 pages so far (out of thousands). I haven't changed the template and when I use the Google Mobile Friendly test it reports everything is fine. Every once in a while Google would report an issue before in the Search Console for a page or 2 but it would always go away and when I ran the Mobile Friendly test the page was always fine.

Anyone else having this issue of seeing an increase in false reports by the Search Console?
11:21 am on Dec 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've seen this over time: It's very fussy.
11:13 pm on Dec 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've had it happen. It seemed like it was due to an AdSense ad that was stretching and breaking the layout.

That's really the only way to break my template, to view it first in desktop mode then shrink the viewport down to mobile size. The ad remains desktop size thereby breaking the mobile size template.

But, I'm not sure that Googlebot downloads the ads, so not sure.
12:04 pm on Dec 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm I wouldn't think that Google bot would test mobile that way but I believe most of my ads images are blocked by robots.txt. Plus some of these pages have no ads. I see the error pages are up to 140 now. I ran the Google mobile friendly test on 10 random samples that GSC said has failed, and all passed.

Also before I told Google they had all been fixed and Google was validating the fixes so far of the 20 pages validated it says 10 have been fixed and 10 have not (even though I didn't do any changes).
4:44 pm on Dec 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I also posted this issue in the Google Webmaster Central Help Forum. No replies from anyone. I have never found their help forums to be any good. Some moderator moved my post from the search console category to Mobile websites so that probably didn't help with responses.

I also did a Lighthouse audit using Google Bot as the User Agent (among others) and I had no reports of clickable elements to close together or content wider than the screen. So it seems obvious Google Search Console mobility usability test does not use the exact same engine as the Google Mobility Friendly test. Without any more details about the supposed issues that search console has found I am at a loss of how to fix this issue unless it is a bug with the Search Console mobility testing.
7:30 pm on Dec 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think it's a bug with their new console. There have been reports of other bugs.

I went to the report and submitted a response that the issue had been "FIXED" and the console reported that it will test the page. Then a day or so later it said everything is fine, even though I did nothing to fix the non-existent error!

That's why I said the only thing I could see that could possibly break my template was the ad, that it misfired somehow. Either that or the console bot had a brain fart.