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Google said it can recognize and understand if a site is reputable about a specific topic area. John said it does make sense for sites to really hone in on their subject matter expertise because what “you’re essentially doing is on the one hand for search engines you’re kind of building out your reputation of knowledge on that specific topic area.”
In addition to this, John Mueller said that this can help the site also surface in the Google search results “for the broader topic” as well.
This seems to show Google does have a way to understand the site as a whole, on the site level, not just on a URL by URL basis.
This came up at the 34:20 mark in Friday’s video where the question was:
When we want to rank for a specific topic on Google is it a good practice to also cover related topics. For example, if we sell laptops when you want to rank for that is it useful to create posts like reviewing laptops, the introducing the best new laptops, those kind of things? And if it’s useful then it doesn’t have to be done in any special way?
John said it is “always useful” to do this because “because what you’re essentially doing is on the one hand for search engines you’re kind of building out your reputation of knowledge on that specific topic area. And for users as well it provides a little bit more context on kind of like why they should trust you.”
He goes on:
So I think this is always useful because what you’re essentially doing is on the one hand for search engines you’re kind of building out your reputation of knowledge on that specific topic area. And for users as well it provides a little bit more context on kind of like why they should trust you. If they see that you have all of this knowledge on this general topic area and you show that and you kind of present that regularly, then it makes it a lot easier for them to trust you on something very specific that you’re also providing on your website. So that’s something where I think that that always kind of makes sense.
And for search engines as well. It’s something where if we can recognize that this website is really good for this broader topic area then if someone is searching for that broader topic area we we can try to show that website as well. We don’t have to purely focus on individual pages but we’ll say oh like it looks like you’re looking for a new laptop, like this website has a lot of information on various facets around laptops.
Glenn Gabe summed it up nicely in these tweets:
Also for search engines, if Google can recognize that a site is good for the broader topic, then it can surface that site for broader queries on the topic as well. Google doesn’t have to focus on individual pages to surface the site for that broader topic. https://t.co/wVnGet2Knn pic.twitter.com/pQJJUx24eA
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) February 7, 2021
Here is the video embed:
Forum discussion at Twitter.