On Oct 27, 2014 Google updated Webmaster Guidelines, which I think is pretty significant.
What this means is today’s Google is not your Dad’s Google anymore, that relied simply on text-rendering. Google has officially announced that now they are in page rendering mode, reading webpages just like a modern browser would do.
Google clearly warns against blocking of these files which can cause suboptimal ranking.
Other questions I would be asking myself would be:
- Does my site have progressive enhancement? (and graceful degradation?)
- When was the last time I did page performance optimization? What can be improved from these insights?
- How can I eliminate unnecessary downloads on my pages … starting with JS, CSS, images etc.
- What else could be compressed using gzip or such technologies?
- What can I do immediately to improve Webserver’s performance?
GoogleBot has changed, hence, we the webmasters must keep up with it for optimal rankings and performance. At the end of the day, our customers will be the winners.