Google: One Quality Site Better Than Many Sites

Nov 16, 2012 • 8:26 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

one site vs manyGoogle's John Mueller responded to a question in Google Webmaster Help with familiar advice. Build one great site, as opposed to building many smaller sites.

He wrote:

I'd recommend focusing on a single website, instead of this collection of sites that you have now. In particular, I'd make sure that your single website is of the highest quality possible, that it contains unique (not rewritten / spun / reprocessed) content, content that's relevant to the users of your site and compelling to them. Don't keep this collection of low-quality sites, it's really much better overall to focus on making a single fantastic site instead.

This is common advice he has given before.

He even said so with location specific sites.

So if you have a strategy that involves multiple sites - make sure you have enough quality to go around.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto

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Ian Scott

11/16/2012 05:46 pm

So is Google penalizing those who have multiple sites? They can tell, say via adwords, analytics, registrar data.

Sam Dogen

11/16/2012 05:53 pm

This is exactly what I wrote about on today. Thick is in, thin is out! Sam

Sam Dogen

11/16/2012 05:54 pm

If the multiple sites have the same spun content, I would think so. Google knows everything.


11/16/2012 09:21 pm

I read his comments a bit differently: It seemed that he was saying that you will rank many pages within one site easier then you will rank many small, individually targetted, sites. I might be reading the comments wrong though, so I am open to other interpretations.

Ian Mason

11/17/2012 01:46 pm

I've believed this since I got my start in SEO 9 years ago, but Google's changes forced me to keep many sites on hand in case they replace my quality sites with hacked pages, dead empty blogs, splogs, an irrelevant page mentioning the keyword on an authority site; I'm sure you could list many too. So, I still agree... don't have so many sites that they're all low quality... but have enough that you can have hedge against any random temporary drops your high quality site experiences due to algo changes. Quality gets the long tail, quality is more fun and rewarding, etc... :)


11/17/2012 05:13 pm

I believe Google are penalizing owners of multiple sites IF they penalize one of their sites for whatever 'legit' reason. I am seeing negative flow on effects to a number of my sites after one has been (rightly?) hit by both P's.


11/18/2012 03:35 pm

If you don't use Google webmaster or adsense and if you don't link your sites together but separate each one as different, even registered to different names hosted on different IP addresses, then all your good sites will do well. Google wants to catch brilliant individuals who can produce high quality content on multiple topics and minimize their individual popularity. Google is basically saying that you can only have a particular portion of the pie., no matter how good you are.


11/18/2012 03:41 pm

F Google and F JohnLoserMu, listen to Google and starve. Do many sites, keep them separate and that's it. Google wants you to use one site and to buy ads for it. Google has different goals from you or me. Google is rigged

Alex Papa

11/18/2012 07:02 pm

I do see a Googler's point of view on focusing on a single quality website. However, in today's internet market how safe is it not to diversify? Most of Google's employees are not intrepreneurial - otherwise they would not have clinged onto a job and they would have been in business for themselves. I believe it is wise not to keep all your eggs in one basket and aim to have multiple streams of income through a number of quality websites. As an online publisher, I have to take lessons from the offline world. Most offline publications do have a number of publications focusing on the same or different niches. As long as you have the resources to ensure you provide your customers/visitors with the best possible quality, diversification is safer. If you are a single operator, with no other resources other than your own sweat and time, then you may want to focus at the start on a single site.

Ranking Signals

11/18/2012 07:31 pm

Of course Google wants people to maintain a single website - it's less work for them!

Anton Stetner

11/18/2012 08:49 pm

Yeah. F this and the horse it road in on. They want you to have one site so they can get you buying ads. If one day they destroy your ranks because of an algorithm change you are screwed. Also, if you business is huge with tons of niches to it a consumer doesn't want that. They only want what pertains to them at that moment.

Nathaniel Bailey

11/19/2012 10:15 am

Is this just because google wants to make life easier on its bots and take up less resources with less sites on the web rather then advice to rank better?! Because I have several sites which performed much better once they had been split up from one larger site! Don't get me wrong, life is easier to manage one single site, but in terms of seo, it makes no difference and can IMO be just as easy if not easier some times to rank a handful of sites over a single large site. For example, I have a few hosting sites, of which I run 3 different domains, one for shared hosting, one for dedicated servers and one for game servers/voice servers, as well as another domain for my billing and support site. These all rank very well (page one for the majority of keywords I have targeted) with very little work done on them because they rank themselves these days, but my point in this example, is that these domains all rank well, yet when I had just the single domain for all three different hosting services, I did NOT rank anywhere near as well as I do now for them!


11/19/2012 03:08 pm

Its great to see people are not buying into Google's deceiving ways anymore. Focus on building a brand and worry less about what Google says or does. As long as show up when people search your brand bane then you all good. Look at or SEL they have built a brand on search engine news and they are the go to site for SE related news. These guys dont rely too much on Google for their business model. Do the same. Build a brand not rankings. My 2cents!!

Hadi Nugraha

12/08/2012 07:14 pm

Hell..I confuse.. I built links for my post cara menghilangkan bekas jerawat, but my SERPs is bad

Spook SEO

12/02/2013 05:16 pm

Hello Barry, Can one quality site really compete with thousands and even millions of niche specific sites? IMAO, I believe in quality contents for the site to maximize SEO benefits but I would rather say that multiple quality sites are more effective than concentrating on one great quality site. As long as you never do past bad techniques, then these multiple sites can go the distance.

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