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I've discovered that when I do Google Webmaster Tools --> Fetch as Google on a page on my site (let's call it http://example.com), it shows the static assets (js, css, and images) as Temporarily unreachable.

My static assets are behind an Amazon CloudFront CDN distribution, with the origin being my site, http://example.com. I have CNAMEd the CloudFront to assets.example.com.

That's exactly what is showing as "Temporarily unreachable" - all the css and js hosted at assets.example.com (for example assets.example.com/assets/application.css). The thing is, I can reach all those files just fine. I fear that googlebot is not seeing the js and css of my site, since when I do a Fetch and Render it says "This is how Googlebot saw the page:" and sure enough it's the page as it would look with no css or js.

I went through the responses on this somewhat similar question, but my CloudFront distribution doesn't even have a robots.txt that could be blocking anything, and the response headers when I do a curl -I on my css & js don't show anything alarming.

What could be causing googlebot to say that my static assets are Temporarily unreachable? Thanks!

  • Does your main site have a robots.txt file? The answer(s) on that other question seem to suggest that CF reads the robots.txt on your main site and serves that - although I think I may have misunderstood something??! – MrWhite Apr 16 '15 at 10:30
  • @w3d Yes definitely, main site has a normal robots.txt file. I have CloudFront set up such that it can only access anything in the assets/* directory, as to not duplicate all pages of my site with the assets.example.com URL. – DelPiero Apr 16 '15 at 14:36
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Solved it!

My assets.example.com CloudFront distribution needed a robots.txt file after all. After adding one following these instructions, googlebot is able to fetch & render my static assets successfully.

It no longer reports them as Temporarily unreachable, and instead shows Complete.

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