Google Leak Last Week Revealed a Giant Laundry List of SEO Ranking Factors— Why Should The Average Head of Marketing Care? 

TL;DR – If you are focused on your users, high-quality content, and a great user experience, you don’t need to panic. 

Last week, an anonymous source leaked what has been confirmed to be an internal document revealing over 14,000 “factors” Google uses when ranking websites. The leak has set the SEO world ablaze with discussion and debate.

What Was Leaked?

The leak revealed an extensive and detailed list of APIs that shed light on what Google considers when ranking websites. In general, it is a list of thousands of APIs that outline factors that Google considers when determining rankings for different websites. 

While the number is overwhelming, many elements are related when categorized. This means many factors are interconnected or serve similar purposes within the algorithm, contributing to the overall ranking process.

Unfortunately, a layer of detail is missing, including what exactly Google is looking at for some of these factors and their weight. So, academically, it’s interesting, but it’s like getting a partial recipe without instructions or amounts. 

New Google Leak is like Getting An Incomplete Recipe

Why Is It Creating Such a Frenzy? 

While significant, the recent leak is not as groundbreaking as some might think. SEO has traditionally involved a lot of testing, trial, and error. This is the first definitive confirmation that many of the things we thought worked were indeed part of the search considerations.

The intrigue lies in the glimpse into Google’s inner workings and potential secrets from their closely guarded search algorithms. Also, many long-standing SEO arguments were won last week, like whether Google sandboxes new sites or whether domain authority exists as a factor.  

While the leak has generated a buzz, its practical implications might not be as transformative as the initial excitement is suggesting.

I guess we’re gonna have to find new stuff to argue about.

Does It Change Anything for SEO?

Fundamentally, this will stay pretty much the same for great SEO companies focused on branding, user experience, quality content, and driving revenue (not just traffic). It confirms what we have been doing or how we have been thinking about organic search. 

There are undoubtedly new or emphasized tactics at the SEO water trough, but quality content was crucial last week, it’s still essential this week, and you can bet your boots will still be important next week. 

Having a peek behind the curtain is fun for SEOs, but it likely doesn’t change the outcome significantly. For example, whether engagement was a ranking factor or not, we help clients with it because we know that drives revenue. It’s nice to know now that Google is considering those engagement rates in a fashion in the algorithm, but we were going to do it regardless of whether it was a factor. 

In the coming weeks, you might see some new elements popping up in our SEO audits. Still, we will keep our clients on track to build a robust and valuable brand online that attracts and converts new customers (or what we like to call SEO done right). 

For more details and information on this trending topic, check out these articles: 

An Anonymous Source Shared Thousands of Leaked Google Search API Documents with Me; Everyone in SEO Should See Them
Secrets from the Algorithm: Google Search’s Internal Engineering Documentation Has Leaked
HUGE Google Search document leak reveals inner workings of ranking algorithm
Google responds to leak: Documentation lacks context






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