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Google: “Hard To Call A Site Authoritative After 30 Articles”

Google's John Mueller says it's hard to call a site authoritative if it only has 30 pages of content.

google authority site

Building authority with Google is going to take more than publishing a site with just 30 pages, advises Search Advocate John Mueller.

That’s especially true if the site has stopped publishing new content for a while.

Mueller says this in response to a Reddit thread asking why new articles for an “authoritative” site aren’t being indexed.

The original poster (OP) of the thread says they’ve published 30+ articles on their site, and believes it to be authoritative because of the links it’s receiving.

After a three-month hiatus between publishing new articles, Google isn’t indexing the new content as quickly as it did in the past.

OP asks why some URLs aren’t getting indexed even after a manual submission.

Mueller responds with a rude awakening for OP, saying it’s difficult for Google to see their site as an authority with only a few dozen articles.

Google’s John Mueller On Authoritative Sites

Mueller begins his response by clarifying there’s nothing wrong with Google’s indexing systems at the moment.

Indexing bugs do occur from time to time, but that’s not the problem in this case.

Rather, this is a case of Google being selective about what it’s indexing.

With the site having relatively few articles, coupled with the fact it hasn’t published new content in several months, Google is going to be more critical about what it indexes when the site starts publishing again.

“I don’t see anything broken in the way Google indexes stuff at the moment. I do see us being critical about what we pick up for indexing though, as any search engine should.

It’s really hard to call a site authoritative after 30 articles, and especially if you’ve stopped publishing for a while, I can see how Google might be a bit more conservative with regards to indexing more.”

Indexing may pick up over time when Google sees that the site has more to offer searchers than 30 pages of content.

Other than continuing to publish new content, there’s nothing the OP can do to move the process along any faster.

“Over time, as we see that your site is more than just “30 ok posts”, and instead something we’re keen on sending as many users to as possible, then indexing will pick up.

This isn’t something you can push through technical means though, it’s not the button-push before indexing that makes your site by far the best of its kind.”

Mueller concludes his response by encouraging the OP to aim higher in every regard.

These days it’s not enough for a site to be just as good as other sites on the web. It has to be significantly better.

“Making your site “just as good / bad as others” is not compelling — you should really aim significantly higher, and not just with regards to the text on your pages, but in regards to everything across your site, and its embedding within the rest of the world / web.”

There are two key takeaways from this exchange.

One is that a site is unlikely to be viewed as an authority with only 30 pages.

The second is that Google may slow down indexing for a site after it learns where the site fits in with the rest of the web.

It’s normal for Google’s indexing patterns to fluctuate, and even manual submission won’t guarantee a page gets indexed.

Source: Reddit

Featured Image: Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

Category News SEO
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Google: “Hard To Call A Site Authoritative After 30 Articles”

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