Whether or not the John Mueller comments applied to all websites and online businesses across the board remains open to interpretation.
In this instance, we are talking about a conversation that took place during last weeks SEO hangout; while speaking with the owner of a website, Mueller stated that the chap in question should invest more time and effort in category level pages, rather than focusing disproportionately on individual pages.
Elaborating a little further, Mueller pointed out that his individual pages were quite sparse in terms of content. Subsequently, and for the benefit of his sites SEO performance Mueller said creating higher level pages featuring more content may be beneficial.
Here is the full question submitted by the concerned webmaster in question:
“Hi John. During the December update we have had a ranking drop to our game site, “Never have ever”. This is very surprising as in my opinion we have one of the best and most complete experiences for this type of site, while other sites only offer questions for the game,”
“We do that as well as show votes per question; we even had country specific data (Russian vs US for example). My question is was this drop due to something technical such as sitespeed or hosting? Or are we somehow not satisfying users as well as other sites? Or was this a mistake?”
When Mueller finally got round to providing a direct answer, he offered the suggestion that focusing on category pages works in the sites favour:
“I took a look at a handful of pages from your website and I could see how our algorithms might be a little bit confused with regards to how we should be showing this site in search,”
“One thing to think about is if you actually need all of these individual pages indexed or do you need to have something more about the content overall itself as an index.
The relevance and value regarding Muellers comments are of course limited exclusively to sites that fit the same profile as the person asking. It is food for thought for anyone with a website populated by an abundance of deep-level unused pages.
If this is the case, Mueller advises focusing on category pages to make it easier for Google to crawl and index the site.