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Mueller Says Not All Sites Need to Be an Authority to Rank

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Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller explained that not all websites should be regarded as authorities to get a high website SEO ranking in the search results. He discussed this topic with website SEO experts in the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout recorded on 10 December.

Mueller was given a follow-up question by an SEO, asking about his comment on a Reddit post regarding website authority. According to Mueller’s comment, it is not enough to call a website authoritative after publishing 30 articles on a specific niche. Therefore, the SEO who asked the question wondered how Google sees single-page websites.

As Mueller answered the person’s questions, he added more context to his statement in that Reddit post, explaining that not all websites need to be seen as an authority.

Mueller Responds to a Reddit Post About Authoritative Sites

A Reddit thread asked why new articles for an “authoritative” website were not indexed. Mueller replied to this Reddit post, explaining that establishing authority with Google takes more than simply putting up a website with only 30 pages. That’s especially true if the site has been quiet for some time.

According to the person who made the post, they have published more than 30 articles on their site, and because of the links it is obtaining, they believe it to be reputable. After a three-month gap between postings, Google isn’t indexing the new content as quickly as it used to. So, the person asked why some URLs are not being indexed after a manual submission.

Mueller responded to the person, saying that Google struggles to consider it as an authority with just a few dozen articles.

He stated that there is nothing wrong with Google’s indexing technology right now. Although indexing errors do happen occasionally, they are not the issue in this situation. Rather, Google is being picky about what it indexes. With a small number of articles on the site, in addition to its lack of new content in several months, Google will be pickier about what it indexes when the site resumes publishing.

However, it’s not too late for the SEO who wrote the Reddit post. When Google finds that their website has more to offer searchers than 30 pages of content, the search engine company may index the site. Other than continuing to create new content, there’s nothing that the person can do to speed up the process.

Mueller advised the SEO to aim higher in every way. These days, it is insufficient for a website to be as good as other websites on the Internet. It must be far superior.

There are two key lessons to be learned from this interaction. Firstly, a website with only 30 pages will not be regarded as an authority. The second lesson is that once Google understands where the site fits the rest of the web, it may slow down indexing. It’s common for Google’s indexing patterns to change, and even manual submission won’t guarantee that a page gets indexed.

Mueller Comments on Website Authority

Mueller said it is good for site owners and publishers to create excellent single-page websites, so he is not too concerned with that.

As for the Reddit post, Mueller recalls that the context was about the mindset wherein SEOs think their websites should be seen as authoritative by Google after creating 30 high-quality blog posts about a particular niche. However, 30 articles are not enough for a website to be called authoritative.

When Mueller stated that a website needs more than 30 pages to be called authoritative, he referenced critical, high-level topics. For instance, a website with only 30 articles discussing a specific medical condition does not have the same authority as a professional doctor.

With that being said, most websites don’t have to worry about being an authority. Such sites can still put out great content and see great results in terms of website SEO rankings. Many of the websites on the Internet are small businesses selling products and services, so they do not need to be an authority in their industry.

Mueller used a small company selling a product as an example. Even SMEs or start-ups do not need to be the foremost authority in their niche to find their products.

Usually, small businesses run one-page websites focusing on a specific product, which does not require site authority. Some one-page websites typically give information about their opening hours or write more descriptions about their products. It’s like giving readers information. So, from that perspective, it is perfectly fine to run a one-page website.

Mueller adds that a one-page website is a nice place to start, but it could always grow from there. One should always think about the goals they want to achieve and get there from a one-page website.

For instance, site owners and publishers may consider how many more pages they can add to their websites in the future. This way, they wouldn’t have to put all of their articles on one page, and their old content would not get stuck in one place when they add new articles.

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