Revealed: Google’s Hidden Search Algorithm Secrets


A substantial leak of internal documents allegedly revealing the intricacies of Google’s search algorithm has reverberated through the tech industry and the search engine optimization (SEO) community.

Sundar Pichai talks about AI

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc., during the Google I/O Developers Conference in Mountain View, California, US, on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. Google introduced a new large language model, used for training artificial intelligence tools like chatbots, known as PaLM 2, and said it has already woven it into many of the internet search company’s marquee products. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

While the leaked information is highly technical and primarily geared towards developers and SEO professionals, it offers significant insights into the data Google gathers from webpages, sites, and searchers. Although the documents do not conclusively prove that Google uses the specified data and signals for search rankings, they provide indirect hints about what the company prioritizes, according to SEO expert Mike King.

The leak delves into various facets of Google’s search algorithm, including the management of sensitive subjects like elections, the handling of small websites, and the types of data collected and utilized. Notably, some information appears to contradict public statements made by Google representatives, as pointed out by both Fishkin and King.

“‘Lied’ is harsh, but it’s the only accurate word to use here,” King wrote in his analysis of the documents. “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 publicly challenged the legitimacy of the leaked documents, despite multiple requests for comment from the Verge. Nonetheless, a Google employee did contact Fishkin, requesting him to amend some language in his post regarding the characterization of an event.

The leaked documents prompt questions about the veracity of Google’s public statements concerning how Search operates. For instance, while Google representatives have consistently indicated that Chrome data is not used for ranking pages, the documents explicitly mention Chrome in sections discussing how websites appear in Search results.

Another contentious point is the role of E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) in ranking. Although Google representatives have previously asserted that E-E-A-T is not a ranking factor, the documents imply that Google gathers author data from pages and has a field indicating whether an entity on the page is the author.

Lucas Nolan
Lucas Nolan
Lucas Nolan is a journalist and author whose work has been featured on Breitbart News and The Drudge Report. He's currently working on his first book.

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