John Mueller of Google spent some of his New Years responding to concerns and questions around Google related issues.

In one help thread, John Mueller helped a webmaster who received Google Search Console errors.  He helped the webmaster by directing him to focus on the site’s overall speed and performance issues.  John said that Google is having a “really hard time crawling” the specific website.  It lead to two issues:

  1. Google can’t crawl as much as they need to properly understand your website, he said.
  2. Google can’t access some of the resources, leading Google to think the site is not mobile-friendly.

“One of the problems I see here is that we have a really hard time crawling your site — the server is slow in responding, which means we can’t crawl as much as we’d need to properly understand your website. In particular, sometimes we can’t request the various resources used on your pages, which means we can’t reliably confirm that your pages are mobile-friendly,” Mueller said. “In general, the ways to improve this include moving to a faster server, reducing the number of resources needed to load your pages, or finding ways to improve the general speed of your pages (eg, using caching, tuning your setup, etc.).”

Another bit of advice that John Mueller gave was on hacked content.  There was one website that saw a webmaster’s WordPress hacked, which lead to thousands of new hacked pages being created on the site.  The webmaster wanted to know how to remove the pages and ultimately fix the issue.

According to John, if the hacked pages are now returning a status code, 404 – page not found, then Google will eventually drop those pages out of their index.  404 errors are normal and won’t hurt your overall website, if the pages that are 404ing are pages that you don’t want on your website.  Having 404 pages on a website is fine, according to John.

“If the URLs with hacked content now return 404, they’ll be dropped automatically over time, as Google recrawls & reprocesses them from your site,” he said. “You generally don’t need to use the URL removal tools for hacked content like this. Regarding the number of 404s, it’s fine to have URLs return 404 when they no longer serve valid content — that’s normal, and not something that Google would count against a website.”

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