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Another GSC bug? Mobile errors incorrectly reported

     
12:53 pm on Oct 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Today I received an(other) email from Google reporting "New Mobile Usability issues detected for site".

On checking in GSC, the error "Clickable elements too close together" is reported for three pages (including the Home page), and "Content wider than screen" is reported for the Home page.

All three pages have shown "Page is mobile friendly" in Google's mobile-friendly test since Google first introduced it, and did when I checked again this morning: the GSC reported error isn't apparent if I use Google's own tool to check it.

Because all content scales with screen-width it isn't possible for "content to be wider than screen". The only clickable elements anywhere near each other are in the breadcrumb-menu, which is intentionally formatted so that elements are not too close together on small screens (even with line-wrap on screens narrower than 300px). Nothing has changed in page-width/content-resizing settings or navigation-button layout - and anyway this is the same on all pages, not just three - since 2018.

One might speculate on what could have caused this - did googlebot fail to retrieve the CSS file on the last crawl? Is it a SIgn that we should inline everything? - but from here it looks like GSC glitches, not page errors.

The issue I reported in September ([webmasterworld.com ]) is also still showing as an error in GSC, although it was "fixed" on 15 September.

I'm not sure I would find these auto-generated messages useful even if something actually needed my attention. Does anyone know how to turn them off?
1:49 pm on Oct 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This happens to be at least twice a year that continues on for a few weeks. I will get a 10 to 200 pages (of thousands) that report those exact errors. I've mentioned it before but can't seem to find the post about it. Nothing is wrong with those pages but I always double check a few of them just to be safe. I mark them as fixed and they usually don't come up again.

These pages also use the same layout and template (and css classes) as other pages that don't get the error so it is kind of weird how they would be flagged while others are not since it is just text content that in most cases differ between them.
6:06 pm on Oct 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Heh. I hardly ever look at GSC but I did just a few days ago and encountered that very error. So I asked for a closer look at the offending page--which definitely hasn't been changed in any way after the “error” was generated--got a preview and the happy message “This page is mobile-friendly!”

Sigh.
6:47 pm on Oct 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I hardly ever look at GSC


Me neither, and wouldn't have but for the email.
11:43 pm on Oct 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Well, it really is broken. Having confimred the pages were OK and clicked the Validation button yesterday, I received a follow-up email today saying

"The fix requested was for the following
issue: 'Clickable elements too close together'.

However, we found that some pages are still affected by this issue.
As part of the validation progress we were able to verify that 2 pages on
your site are no longer affected by this issue.
To examine full details on the validation progress, and to learn how to fix
remaining pages, please follow this link."

I followed the link, selected TEST LIVE PAGE, and the page - which was last amended months ago - got a Pass, as it did before I did the "fix" yesterday.

I wish I could spam Google every time I had a Search issue.
1:16 am on Oct 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator not2easy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I started seeing such useless 'reports' via email and in GSC back in July. Messages about 'text too small' and 'links too close together' that made no sense. I first wondered about whether there was some reason they were not parsing my .css files but by the time I checked, the errors had evaporated. I no longer pay very much attention to GSC. Something that once had useful tools seems to have lost its purpose.