Hypothetically, an individual who went to a website that provided e-mails at the behest of their owners for the purpose of sample acquisition could have his or her account blocked. Say they’re sending out a novel and it’s two megabytes–well, a hundred messages like that and Google will put a stop on the account. This happens even if there is legitimate reason behind the e-mail. The reason is ‘bots’ reject things and send out messages automatically in many cases. So when Google sends out a mass message deliberately to ensure certain resources are unblocked, you need to be made aware how you can easily unblock said resources in order that ranking boosts may be properly taken advantage of. Going about it incorrectly could get your account blocked automatically by some Googlebot.
Most webmasters and SEOs who received the e-mail from Google about unblocking felt there was no reason Google needed to see that information. Especially considering that Google was flagging files which aren’t usually going to be blocked. Things like WordPress admin, or plugin folders for the site.
It seemed like kind of a gangster move, really. Google was inferring that, unless they were given access to data they had no need to access, “sub-optimal ratings” would be applied to that site. I.E., if you don’t play ball, they’ll spike you. No wonder webmasters and SEOs were infuriated! SEO is bound up in ratings, as “Search Engine Optimization” is literally the name of the game. If Google is going to keep you from being able to optimize through some bureaucratic minutiae, that’s a big deal!
But it isn’t just the mobile boost Google is concerned with. Page layout algorithms, algorithms placing content in relation to advertisements, and more are determined by this information. Pages with more ads above the fold than below can and will be devalued in rankings. However CSS allows webmasters to ensure content appears front-and-center, though ads remain visible above the fold.