You don’t have to be an authority to rank


Not all websites need to be considered authoritative in order to rank well in search results, says John Mueller, Google’s search lawyer.

This is reported during the Google Search Central SEO Office Hours Hangout on December 10.

Brian Harnish joined the livestream to ask Mueller a follow-up question regarding a comment he made on Reddit about the authority of the website.

Mueller said it was difficult to call a site authoritative after posting 30 articles on a particular topic.

However, Harnish asks how Google views single page websites.

This leads Mueller to add more context to the statement he made on Reddit, saying that every website doesn’t have to position itself as an authority.


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Read Mueller’s full answer in the section below.

Google’s John Mueller on Website Authority

When it comes to single page websites, Mueller says it’s possible to build good ones.

His commentary on the need for more than 30 pages to be considered an authority referred to high-level critical topics.

For example, a website cannot simply publish 30 articles on a health problem and be considered to have the same authority as a doctor.

Mueller states:

“I think you can create good one page sites. So from that point of view, I’m not too worried about it.

I think the Reddit post, as far as I can remember, was something like, “I’ve created 30 blog posts, and they’re really good, so my website should be authoritative.”

And from my perspective, creating 30 blog posts doesn’t automatically make your website authoritative.

And especially for the higher or more critical topics, it’s something where you can’t just create 30 blog posts on a medical topic and then say, “I’m a doctor, I’ve written 30 articles.” So it was in this direction that I was heading.


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Most sites don’t have to worry about being an authority. They can still serve content and rank it in search results.

Mueller gives the example of a small business selling a product or service. The company doesn’t have to be the number one authority in its field for customers to find its products.

“And for a lot of websites, you don’t have to be seen as an authority. You basically put your content there. If you are a small business, you are selling something. You don’t have to be an authority.

And especially things where, like one page websites, they are often very focused on that one thing and you don’t have to be an authority to do that one thing.

To sell, I don’t know, an ebook, or to give information on the opening hours of a business. It’s like, it’s just information.

So from that point of view having a one page website I think is perfectly fine.

Mueller goes on to say that a one-page website is a good place to start, but it can always grow from there.

Think about how other pages can be added to the site in the future so that it does not get stuck in a place where new content is constantly being added to the single page.

“As far as starting a one page website, I think that’s fine, but I would wonder where you want to go at any given time.

Maybe you want to create more pages and try to find a way not to put yourself in a corner and say, well, I have to put it all on one page all the time. But rather expand when you see it fits.


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Listen to Mueller’s full response in the video below:

Featured Image: Ribkhan / Shutterstock

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