In a recent Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout, John Mueller was questioned on the hotly-debated topic of website authority. Specifically, Mr Mueller sought to address the age-old question of whether a website needs to become an authority in its niche to rank well.
The short answer is, apparently, no - it doesn’t.
But what was even more interesting is how Mr Mueller confirmed that even a one-page website can climb the rankings to prominence. Meaning that not only does a site not have to be packed with thousands of pages of content to rank well, but also doesn’t necessarily need to be an authority site.
Here’s what Mueller said in response to a post on Reddit:
“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.”
He went on to emphasise how smaller businesses need not concern themselves with becoming a market-leading authority, simply to rank well and pull in traffic from their main target audience:
“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.”
Of course, Mr Mueller was keen to highlight the point that while a one-page website can be fine, it’s better to use it as a basis to grow and develop a deeper site:
“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.”
Still, confirmation that a quality site with just a single page has every potential to climb the rankings and pull in a ton of qualified traffic.