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May 29 - Google won’t comment on massive leak of its search algorithm documentation

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 3 weeks ago '07        #1
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icon May 29 - Google won’t comment on massive leak of its search algorithm documentation

 https://www.theverge.com/ .. ments-link-seo

 https://www.seroundtable. .. eak-37462.html

Aleyda Solis has a quick summary on X where she summed up part of the leak:

There are 14K ranking features and more in the docs
Google has a feature they compute called “siteAuthority”
Navboost has a specific module entirely focused on click signals representing users as voters and their clicks are stored as their votes
Google stores which result has the longest click during the session
Google has an attribute called hostAge that is used specifically “to sandbox fresh spam in serving time"
One of the modules related to page quality scores features a site-level measure of views from Chrome

A purported leak of 2,500 pages of internal documentation from Google sheds light on how Search, the most powerful arbiter of the internet, operates.

Google’s search algorithm is perhaps the most consequential system on the internet, dictating what sites live and die and what content on the web looks like. But how exactly Google ranks websites has long been a mystery, pieced together by journalists, researchers, and people working in search engine optimization.

Now, an explosive leak that purports to show thousands of pages of internal documents appears to offer an unprecedented look under the hood of how Search works — and suggests that Google hasn’t been entirely truthful about it for years. So far, Google hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment on the legitimacy of the documents.

Rand Fishkin, who worked in SEO for more than a decade, says a source shared 2,500 pages of documents with him with the hopes that reporting on the leak would counter the “lies” that Google employees had shared about how the search algorithm works. The documents outline Google’s search API and break down what information is available to employees, according to Fishkin.

The details shared by Fishkin are dense and technical, likely more legible to developers and SEO experts than the layperson. The contents of the leak are also not necessarily proof that Google uses the specific data and signals it mentions for search rankings.

Rather, the leak outlines what data Google collects from webpages, sites, and searchers and offers indirect hints to SEO experts about what Google seems to care about, as SEO expert Mike King wrote in his overview of the documents.

The leaked documents touch on topics like what kind of data Google collects and uses, which sites Google elevates for sensitive topics like elections, how Google handles small websites, and more. Some information in the documents appears to be in conflict with public statements by Google representatives, according to Fishkin and King.

“‘Lied’ is harsh, but it’s the only accurate word to use here,” King writes. “While I don’t necessarily fault Google’s public representatives for protecting their proprietary information, I do take issue with their efforts to actively discredit people in the marketing, tech, and journalism worlds who have presented reproducible discoveries.”

Google has not responded to The Verge’s requests for comment regarding the documents, including a direct request to refute their legitimacy. Fishkin told The Verge in an email that the company has not disputed the veracity of the leak, but that an employee asked him to change some language in the post regarding how an event was characterized.

Google’s secretive search algorithm has birthed an entire industry of marketers who closely follow Google’s public guidance and execute it for millions of companies around the world. The pervasive, often annoying tactics have led to a general narrative that Google Search results are getting worse, crowded with junk that website operators feel required to produce to have their sites seen. In response to The Verge’s past reporting on the SEO-driven tactics, Google representatives often fall back to a familiar defense: that’s not what the Google guidelines say.

But some details in the leaked documents call into question the accuracy of Google’s public statements regarding how Search works.

One example cited by Fishkin and King is whether Google Chrome data is used in ranking at all. Google representatives have repeatedly indicated that it doesn’t use Chrome data to rank pages, but Chrome is specifically mentioned in sections about how websites appear in Search. In the screenshot below, which I captured as an example, the links appearing below the main vogue.com URL may be created in part using Chrome data, according to the documents.

Another question raised is what role, if any, E-E-A-T plays in ranking. E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, a Google metric used to evaluate the quality of results. Google representatives have previously said E-E-A-T isn’t a ranking factor. Fishkin notes that he hasn’t found much in the documents mentioning E-E-A-T by name.

King, however, detailed how Google appears to collect author data from a page and has a field for whether an entity on the page is the author. A portion of the documents shared by King reads that the field was “mainly developed and tuned for news articles... but is also populated for other content (e.g., scientific articles).”

Though this doesn’t confirm that bylines are an explicit ranking metric, it does show that Google is at least keeping track of this attribute. Google representatives have previously insisted that author bylines are something website owners should do for readers, not Google, because it doesn’t impact rankings.

Though the documents aren’t exactly a smoking gun, they provide a deep, unfiltered look at a tightly guarded black box system. The US government’s antitrust case against Google — which revolves around Search — has also led to internal documentation becoming public, offering further insights into how the company’s main product works.

Google’s general caginess on how Search works has led to websites looking the same as SEO marketers try to outsmart Google based on hints the company offers. Fishkin also calls out the publications credulously propping up Google’s public claims as truth without much further analysis.

“Historically, some of the search industry’s loudest voices and most prolific publishers have been happy to uncritically repeat Google’s public statements. They write headlines like ‘Google says XYZ is true,’ rather than ‘Google Claims XYZ; Evidence Suggests Otherwise,’” Fishkin writes. “Please, do better. If this leak and the DOJ trial can create just one change, I hope this is it.”


 3 weeks ago '04        #2
ItAlY2BkLyN  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x5
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 Rand Fishkin wrote a blog on this as well

↪🔗 - Leaked documents were discovered from the Content Warehouse API, revealing the inner-workings of Google search:
Earlier this month Rand Fishkin was contacted by someone who gained access to documents from Google's API Content Warehouse. These served as training materials for Google team members for technical documentation surrounding the APIs. Together with Michael King, they analyzed the documents and provided us with some of the most useful insights:
1. There does appear to be a "Site Authority" metric. Contrary to Google's claims that "Domain Authority" isn't a ranking factor. The documentation reveals a siteAuthority metric.
2. Google does use clicks directly as a ranking component. In fact, there were quite a few click metrics revealed in the documentation such as "bad clicks, good clicks, last longest clicks, unsquashed clicks". Similar to links, Google uses clicks as "votes" for any one piece of content.
3. Authors are direct scoring factors. The documents revealed metrics such as "isAuthor" can be derived by the sytem.
4. Freshness is an important factor. I've been beating this drum for years. There were three different date metrics revealed: bylineDate, syntacticDate & semanticDate
5. There are several "Demotion" factors such as Anchor Mismatch (anchor mismatches site content), SERP Demotion (users don't click from the SERP), Location demotions (demoted if a local page is a better fit). and more.
6. There is also an "OriginalContentScore" that score content based on it's originality. Perhaps this ties back to Google's work with Information Gain.
7. The "titlematchScore" was also discovered. This means that title tags are still important folks.
8. Google also directly measures YMYL queries.
9. There's directly a "siteFocusScore" metric. This could measure how much a given site stays focused on an individual subject and can measure if they vary outside of it too much.
It's important to note that just because an attribute is included in the documentation doesn't mean it's a ranking a factor. However, it's the biggest leak we've seen in SEO to date.

 3 weeks ago '20        #3
Slymm  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
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New improved Yahoo search relaunch coming soon


I would say Bing but they got chatgpt integration already so they already improved

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