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Not all websites need to be seen as authorities in order to rank well in search results, says Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller.

This is stated during the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout recorded on December 10.

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

Mueller said it’s hard to call a site authoritative after publishing 30 articles on a particular subject.

With that being the case, Harnish asks how Google views single page websites.

This leads to Mueller adding more context to the statement he made on Reddit, saying it’s not necessary for every website to position themselves as an authority.

Google’s John Mueller On Website Authority

As far as single page websites go, Mueller says it’s possible to make good ones.

His comment about needing more than 30 pages to be seen as an authority was in reference to critical, high-level subjects.

For example, a website can’t just publish 30 articles about a medical condition and be viewed as having the same authority as a doctor.

Mueller states:

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

I think the Reddit post, as far as I remember, was something along the lines: ‘I created 30 blog posts, and they’re really good, and therefore my website should be authoritative.’

And from my point of view, you going off and creating 30 blog posts does not automatically make your website authoritative.

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

Most sites don’t need to concern themselves with being an authority. They can still put content out there and have it rank in search results.

Mueller gives the example of a small business selling a product or service. The business doesn’t need to be the foremost authority in its field in order for customers to find its products.

“And for a lot of websites, it’s not that you need to be seen as an authority. You essentially put your content out there. If you’re a small business you’re selling something. You don’t need to be an authority.

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

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

So from that point of view, having a one page website, I think it’s perfectly fine.”

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

Consider how more pages can be added to the site in the future so it doesn’t get stuck in a place where new content keeps getting added to the single page.

“With regards to starting out with a one-page website, I think that’s fine, but I would think about where do you want to go from there at some point.

Maybe you do want to create more pages and try to find a way that you don’t paint yourself into a corner by saying, well, I have to put everything on one page all the time. But rather expand when you see that it fits.”

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