Zentury Spotlight – Google Algorithm Data Leak Clarified

Google Algorithm Data Leak Clarified 

In the past few days you may have heard talk about the Google algorithm data leak. Rand Fishkin from SparkToro best described the situation as the leak came to him from an anonymous source with details on Google’s search API.

What’s more concerning is the fact that the data in the email Fishkin received contains sensitive details about ranking factors and internal metrics.

Google uses this data to rank and refine search results, which makes this everyone’s problem. However, this data has also helped us gain a deeper understanding on how the biggest and most common-use search engine in the world works.

If you don’t have too much information on the details, we’ll break down the most important parts for you:

  • Google continuously makes small tweaks to the algorithm through real-time updates. The changes and their severity depend on several factors. One of the most notable ones is user behavior patterns, something Google has continuously denied.
  • Machine learning appears to be a far more important component of the search algorithm than Google has acknowledged. Thanks to the leaks, we know machine learning makes use of a large dataset to predict and adjust rankings.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) and dwell time, or UX signals, influence rankings, contrary to the company’s statements.
  • The documents also detail key performance indicators (KPIs) that Google uses to determine the success of search results, such as user satisfaction, query relevance, and engagement rates.
  • Finally, the document offers valuable information on how the freshness of content impacts search rankings. This means you should be updating your website content regularly if you aren’t already.

However, keep in mind that the widespread news of these findings in the data leak has led to a lot of context being left out. Without the context of this information, it’s hard to understand what it truly means for SEO experts everywhere.

According to Fishkin, the email further claimed that the leaked documents were confirmed as authentic by ex-Google employees. It also claimed that these employees shared additional private information about Google’s search operations. 

google algorithm data leak

In a follow-up video meeting with the leaker, Fishkin gained more information about the context in which this data was collected. More specifically, the leaker claimed that this exchange between them and the leakers happened at a search industry event, where they met and exchanged information.

In an attempt to follow up on this information, Fishkin contacted three ex-Googlers, but did not receive an explicit confirmation that the data is internal to Google Search.

The only confirmed information so far is that the data in the document resembles internal Google information, but not that it originated from Google Search, and it’s important to make the distinction between the two.

Google Leak SEO Experts Reactions

Naturally, SEO experts had a lot to say about these leaks. Whether they’ve been in the industry for as long as Fishkin or have only started fairly recently, everyone understands the magnitude of Google’s search engine’s inner workings becoming public knowledge.

Chris Tweten, CMO of Spacebar Collective, took this chance to emphasize the importance of backlinks in ranking factors.

Prosperity Media founder James Norquay highlights 5 key points. James also shares the opinion that this leak doesn’t change much in terms of what has already been in practice in SEO for many years.

Of course, we should also be taking a look at the opinions of ex-Googlers themselves. This tweet from Pedro Dias brings a more rational side to the argument.

In fact, it seems as though Pedro Dias has been the most vocal ex-Googler when it comes to these leaks. Pedro has been replying to multiple users over the past couple of days since the leak went public.

On the other hand, Trevor Stolber, Co-Founder of VibeLogic wrote a comprehensive LinkedIn post detailing his take on the information.


Google Indexing EPUB files is live

Google has finally started indexing EPUB files! The EPUB file format is popular for e-readers, as this is the format commonly used to print books.

This is great news for the International Digital Publishing Forum, or the World WIbe Web Consortium as we know it today, considering their goals to bring together electronic book publishing and the Internet in an attempt to improve mutual enrichment.

Although it took eight years, Google has finally taken a step closer toward this goal. But what does this mean for search rankings? Will we be able to see EPUB documents at the top of a relevant search?

Well, the short answer is no. Google’s official changelog even states that they simply added EPUB to the list of indexable file types. This means Google Search now supports the EPUB file type.

This means they won’t be ranking EPUB documents in searches just yet. In fact, Googling an EPUB file name will only show you the website the file is hosted on. It’s only when you include filetype:epub in your search that Google will show you the relevant file in its EPUB form.

google indexing epub

Google AI Effect on Ecommerce Search Visibility

It’s no secret that search visibility is one of the most important factors of ecommerce that can propel a business toward success. With the help of Google’s AI advancements, ecommerce search visibility is taking on a completely new image that helps create opportunities for businesses.

Google’s recent AI overview aims to enhance search result accuracy through gaining a better understanding of user intent and context. With this news, we can safely assume SEO strategies will need to be re-evaluated. Some strategies worth outlining are semantic search optimization, user-centric design, and high-quality content.

While some believe this will have a positive effect on e-commerce search visibility, others are not so optimistic. With a higher chance of e-commerce searches returning an AI overview in search results, some experts have noticed that 80% of the sources listed in the overviews do not rank organically for the original query.

Keep in mind that ranking positions #1 to #3 have an 8% chance of being a source in AI overviews.

google ai effect

Google Tests Thin Top Deals Search Bar

Many Google users have reported seeing the top deals search bar over the course of the past 7 months. However, in most cases, this search bar was thick and took up quite a bit of space, depending on who you ask.

In the end, the question of which search bar looks better mostly depends on preference. Most users are not sure what to think about this new appearance. However, others argue that it takes up less space on the search page. They claim this makes it much easier to find the information you need at a glance.

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