A Google Search Leak Allegedly Reveals Many of Its Algorithm’s Secrets. It's Digital Gold for SEO Experts

There aren’t too many surprises, but the leak confirms how some features can improve a site's search ranking.

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Google’s search engine dominates the Internet. Its relevance is so significant that  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has become crucial for ranking well in searches and driving traffic to all sorts of websites. The company has never disclosed many details about how its ranking algorithm works, but a recent discovery sheds some light on pandora's box.

A significant leak. A few weeks ago, thousands of documents were leaked on GitHub, seemingly originating from the Content API Warehouse, an internal Google repository. SparkToro co-founder Rand Fishkin and iPullRanks CEO Michael King had access to the documents, and both conducted thorough analyses of the leaked information, which you can read on the SparkToro and iPullRanks websites.

Google’s search engine secrets. In their reports, the SEO experts agree that if the documents are indeed legitimate, they contain valuable insights into Google Search’s ranking algorithm, which is highly beneficial for SEO experts like them.

Every web page has its own history. Although the reports include the factors Google considers in its rankings, they don’t specify the importance of each one. We do know now, however, that Google stores all versions of each web page to track changes but only considers the last 20 changes for analysis.

The importance of links and clicks. It was to be expected, but the analyses confirm that to rank well, it’s crucial to have a variety of relevant links. User experiences, based on their clicks, are also taken into account and scored to rate each page. Documents from the United States v. Google LLC antitrust case highlight the significance of clicks and their monitoring, according to Search Engine Land.

Building a strong brand is crucial for positioning. Fishkin emphasizes the importance of establishing a “notable, popular, well-recognized brand in your space, outside of Google search” to improve organic searches and traffic. This factor can significantly impact a business’s success or failure in search engine rankings.

Neglecting quality is risky. Another factor that Google monitors is “siteAuthority,” a feature that assesses whether the quality of content is consistent. Google denies having used anything like this in recent years, although it apparently did take this type of feature into account in its initial Panda updates to its ranking algorithm.

Whitelisting. Several domains are reportedly on a whitelist, exempting them from certain considerations regarding their positioning. This applies to certain websites dedicated, for example, to providing information about COVID-19 or elections.

Freshness and titles. Google takes into account the dates of content and in the URLs to emphasize a website’s freshness and the times it's updated. It also considers headlines to match potential future searches and even the font size of the content.

No comment from Google. As of yet, the company hasn’t commented, confirmed, or clarified on this leaked document. Our colleagues at Xataka have contacted Google Spain. We’ll update this article if they get back to us.

Image | Sdesde77 using Midjourney

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