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John Mueller Advises Against Copying Top-Ranking Websites

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Google’s John Mueller recently reminded webmasters and providers of SEO optimisation services not to “blindly” copy what top-ranked websites do. Instead, he suggested a more effective alternative SEO optimisation method for people to follow.

Mueller had initially received a question on Twitter regarding a website’s menu. The person who asked the question wondered if it was okay to follow what Amazon does for their top-ranking website.

Amazon’s website has a three-level menu on its homepage, placing their main item links at the third level. The person asking the question was planning to do the same for their website and asked Mueller if Google bot could crawl their links if they followed in Amazon’s footsteps.

Mueller replied, saying that a website owner or SEO should not assume that they can boost their site rankings just because they reused the same methods that a top-ranking website uses. This is because the techniques that large websites use are not necessarily applicable to all other websites.

The person who asked the original question said that their goal was not to rank like Amazon, but instead, to improve their website’s navigation for both user experience and bot crawling. They also said that their website has 20 million webpages and was wondering if the same technique could work since Amazon also has millions of pages on their site, too.

Mueller answered that they could make their on-site navigation work depending on how they implement it, but they are highly discouraged to “blindly” copy what Amazon is doing for their website.

Instead, Mueller advised them to determine what they need for their website to further improve its SEO and provide a better browsing experience for users.

Nevertheless, the person who was asked the question was right to observe how Amazon manages their website. Learning from a top-ranking site can significantly help an SEO agency’s strategies, which eventually leads to better SEO optimisation services.

However, SEOs should remember that they have no way of knowing if the particular SEO strategy they’re emulating is truly what is contributing to a website’s success in Google’s search rankings.

Moreover, Google tends to ignore strategies that are more aggressive when it comes to specific competitive niches. For instance, some top-ranking websites focusing on the personal injury niche use fad link building techniques, blindly copying their competitors. However, it is better to find a more efficient alternative method instead of using the same low-quality SEO strategy.

SEOs are quick to copy the most obvious strategies from other competitors, not knowing whether or not these methods are the ones that led such top-ranking websites to success. The person who was asking Mueller may not even know if Amazon’s three-level menu is what contributes the most to their website’s rankings.

And although observing how Amazon and other top-ranking websites work is a good thing, it may better to be open to using other SEO optimisation methods. The most important thing for website owners and SEOs is to determine what’s best for their own websites.

To attract more visitors to your website and convert them into buying customers, a business owner should have a highly rated site. Here at Position1SEO, we will ensure that your website is well optimised so that Google’s bots can access your web pages and analyse their structure and content. This puts your website in the best possible state for indexing, which determines how high its place will be in the search engine results pages.

If you want to get a free in-depth SEO audit today, just give us a call via 0141 404 7515 or email us at office@position1seo.co.uk. We’ll be more than happy to give your website rankings a much-needed boost!

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