There is this Reddit thread asking if you blindly believe and follow what John Muller of Google says. So John actually shared this thread on Twitter and added Twitter poll asking the question. I reshared it, as did dozens of others and there are 2,792 responses.
Here is the tweet with the poll:
Do you blindly believe what John Mueller says on YouTube?https://t.co/T8bTTJ9SxZ
(FWIW votes are anonymous on Twitter :-))
— ? John ? (@JohnMu) August 24, 2020
If you remove the “cheese responses” you get:
The responses are currently showing that many voted for cheese, a John joke. But the rest say about 22.6% of the people always blindly believe John. That includes his colleagues, Gary Illyes and the Google Analytics team (which is where this GIF came from):
— Google Analytics (@googleanalytics) August 24, 2020
We ran a poll back in 2012 asking if Google lies and only 14% of SEOs trust Google. This set of results seems to be higher where 28 percentage believe John Mueller all the time (this is when you remove the cheese response), which is the same question as believing Google? 28% sometimes believe John and 43% never believe John.
Gary Illyes from Google once had to actually say he doesn’t lie.
Can their statements sometimes contradict or appear to contradict each others? Yes. Why is that? John said in that Reddit thread:
Do you mean the office hours? Some of those are really specific to individual cases, and taking them out of context to try to generalize them isn’t really useful. Lots of SEO questions can have multiple answers, depending on the specifics. People with questions often want answers specific to their individual case, just because that answer doesn’t apply to all sites, or all possible variations of the same problem, doesn’t make the answer wrong. And given that, you should never assume that any specific answer to a specific question & situation applies to your site too. The interesting part of SEO is that you have to use your experience & knowledge to find a solution that makes sense for your situation, and it’ll definitely be different than what other sites would do.
Also, because life is organic, sometimes multiple answers can be equally valid for your site, and it’s up to you to pick one, and make it the right one.
Hence the answer you see often, “it depends.”