Thursday, July 18, 2024

Google Faces Scrutiny After Potential Leak of Search Algorithm Documentation

Google’s search algorithm is undoubtedly one of the most influential systems on the internet. It decides which websites should be visible and which websites should not. However, the inner workings of the algorithm remained largely secret even though journalists, researchers and SEO experts have continuously tried to emerge with clues.

A potential leak of thousands of internal Google documents lately claims to shed light on how the search algorithm functions work. The leak was shared by SEO expert Rand Fishkin and it includes 2,500 pages of detailed information about search API and internal practices of Google. It is learned that Fishkin received the documents from a source that hopes to expose the discrepancies between public statements of Google and its actual operations.

However, the documents are highly technical. It can be understood by developers and SEO specialists. The documents outline what data Google collects from web pages, sites and users. The pages provide indirect hints about the factors that influence search rankings. Fishkin said the documents suggest that Google might not have been entirely truthful about its algorithm.

One important point the pages reveal is the use of Google Chrome data in search rankings. Google has always denied using Chrome data for the purpose. The leaked documents indicate otherwise and hence questions are being raised about other public statements that Google has made regarding its search algorithm.

Another area of interest in the leaked documents is the role of E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) in ranking websites in search results. Google has downplayed E-E-A-T as a ranking factor. The documents reveal just the opposite. The pages reveal Google collects author data and tracks bylines. Hence, it can be said that E-E-A-T might play a significant role.

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