Why Google’s Leaked Files Are So Scary

 Podcast Transcript:

So on a previous video, I was talking about some recent documents that were leaked from Google, talking or possibly talking about Google search ranking factors. And I’ve analyzed a lot of articles. There’s great articles out there that I’m going to talk about. But I want to give you my take on some of the learnings, because not everything in the documents are search ranking factors.

But let’s analyze those. What are some of the most important ones? And then That I, that you should know about and be aware of because this kind of confirms a lot of theories that we’ve had over the years. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today, coming right up.

Hey, welcome back to Local SEO Unlocked. And like I said in a previous video, we talked about thousands and thousands of documents from Google that were leaked recently. And the SEO community just went nuts and really tried to read and understand what was in these documents. As of the time of this recording, Google also came public and said that you cannot really just trust this without the context and without the background information or is missing information that may be misguiding you if you follow everything on these documents.

However, I think there are some key takeaways here that I want you to know to be aware of and let’s jump right in so we can start talking about Sandbox, even though you don’t often launch a new website, especially if you’re an established brand and you have, you know, you want to keep that website for a long time, but I just found it funny that One, a sandbox for new websites or based on age and authority do exist.

And that means you do not rank for some time until you prove yourself to Google. In fact, I remember a tweet from a long time ago where John Mueller from Google explicitly say, Hey, there’s no sandbox. You don’t, you don’t have to worry about that. And now that these documents are leaked, I found it very funny that his tweet was deleted.

Um, so, you know, just one of those funny things, you know, call it a geek joke. But I thought it was pretty cool to talk about that. Number two, using Chrome data. Now this is, again, it’s not shocking, right? Because we know, and there’s been a lot of experiments when a person searches for your company, let’s say they’re searching for an e commerce or some of your products or services, and they find, you know, those top 10 results, Google is keeping an eye out to see which of those 10 results are getting clicks.

Now, what this is proving is that Google is using Google Chrome browser data to know how long they’re navigating on the website. What is the experience of that user? Post click, right? So what are they doing after the click? Now it’s interesting to confirm it with these documents, but I, you know, it’s one of those things like Google has always said how important it is user experience and, and how it’s important for people to stay and not bound so quickly, they never confirmed the source of, of what they were reading or to really understand what that user experience is like, well, now these documents shows that Google Chrome.

Is sharing data with google but in my point of view I think that if it wasn’t the case for a google chrome browser to be sharing data with google It probably would have been google analytics anyway I mean, there’s a reason why these products are free, right? They say if the product is free is because there’s probably some some monetization in the back end on your data So either way, like it’s not shockingly surprising It’s just one of those that is has been confirmed with these documents at least Based on what the documents say, right?

Because to Google’s point, we don’t have the full context. These documents are pieces and chunks, but from our understanding and what the community has done, you know, that’s really the takeaway there. Number three, let’s talk about some demotion. So some of the factors that I found interesting, how Google may demote you from rankings or, or cause you to either drop or just completely disappear from search.

And there were plenty of these ones, but I just picked a handful to go over that I found very interesting. So one is Confirmation on CTR. So click through rate. We just talked about that, right? So there is a Correlation in demotion on losing rankings if people are not clicking on your website when they find you The second one was nav demotion.

That means if a website has a poor navigational experience It gets you demoted on search. I thought that was pretty interesting. Honestly most navigation bars nowadays tend to be tend to do a really good job of having a main primary top menu with some subcategories nested in. So I don’t think it’s quite shocking or, or for you alarming, but I do think that it’s important to keep in mind always, as you are adding more pages, service patients, things like that, keep that user in mind for your navigation.

And then there were other mentions that was like anchor mismatched. That means, you know, the, the link doesn’t match the anchor specifically. There was a lot of those misaligned things that if you’re trying to trick Google or like you’re, you figured out a way, or you bought an old website that has like, A url ranking on google and you’re redirecting them to a different side.

This will get you a demotion, right? So you’re going to lose some rankings there. And then the other one that was a product review demotion I saw this one one of my experiments was a pretty big Blog in a niche that we’re doing a lot or you know I had a content writer was doing a lot of product reviews and we kind of figured out what was working very well Right before the big 2023 product reviews update where we saw a lot of fluctuation on that experiment So definitely this confirms that but we already knew that one specifically now I’m, very passionate about link building and I talk about it all the time But in these documents, one of the learnings was link spam velocity signals nowadays Google is getting smarter when it comes to a negative seo attack let’s say that you made you made someone mad you did something wrong or maybe a competitor is just can’t beat your seo right because you’re out ranking them and Even though they have the bigger budgets They just want to come at you in a negative way.

So they go on to Fiverr and nothing against Fiverr, but I’ve seen Fiverr product, Fiverr gigs, where you can buy for backlinks in seven days. Google’s pretty smart nowadays. And this confirms an on the document that they are looking at that velocity on, on link signals to know if they are legitimate, trustworthy signals or link signals or their spam.

Because if you’re getting 30, 000 links in seven days, it’s probably something spammy. Either, hopefully you didn’t order that, but maybe somebody else ordered it against you. So it’s saying that this is easily spotted by Google, and that means that it’s not taking them into account because it knows it’s spam.

Another learning from these documents that you should know is that there is such a thing as a page rank. That might not be the correct name. That’s how it’s been called back in the day many years ago. But there is such a thing as a, a grade or a rank number. That goes attributed to your website and to each of the pages So again, this won’t really give you much context to go rank or optimize, but it’s just good to remind yourself How important it is to continue gaining authority and I say it time and time again even when i’m talking to clients your authority in the industry to me is more important than a number because You will see magic happen after 12 months of consistent Industry content being published on your site You Versus trying to manipulate that number just by buying backlinks and trying to raise that number.

It doesn’t necessarily correlate to traffic and rankings in that way. But again, it’s just another great one to say, hey, it’s confirmed, at least on these documents on the information gatherer and what the community learn, that there is such a thing. I think the next one might be a little bit controversial.

Short content is scored for originality. And this was pretty shocking because we’ve done testing personally i’ve published articles that are 400 words 600 words And then lately or at least in 2023. We did a lot of 2, 500 words to 3, 000 words articles just trying to Bring in and answer as many questions related to the topic as we could Now it’s pretty shocking to see that Google is actually scoring in a different way Short content because it means it’s being original.

It means that it’s not Really just being sourced from all across the web So i’m not recommending that you go within content or just start publishing 200 word or 400 word articles But keep an eye on it right this learning I think is giving us a big question mark on this topic to see if maybe there are opportunities on content where It is better to go short format versus longer format, but I think it’s just a good segue to go test, right?

Do your own testing. I would highly recommend find a very specific question. Answer it as short as you can in four to six hundred words and see how that performs. versus maybe a very complex topic where you’re going to talk about it for 2, 000 words and then compare how difficult even though they’re different queries but compare how the performance looks.

The next learning was that page titles are still highly irreverent. They are measure against searches or search queries. Nothing new. I mean meta titles on a website are probably one of my top recommendations as you starting to Optimize your website and you’re starting on your seo journey. You always start with those meta tags so it’s not shocking but again, this is just confirming that there is such a thing as a Page title score and how that score correlates or how connected it is to a search query.

And the last one that I want to talk to you and making sure that you were aware of was that dates on your content Are very important and I personally even on our wubound website on our agency website We’ve done we’ve had articles that are Five years old and the context is still the same So what we do is every once in a while, maybe once twice per year We come back and we update right?

We have a great article that is best keywords for car dealerships And keywords. Yes, they are There’s new keywords that are being added to it But at the end of the day a lot of them 80 percent of them maintain their their need right maintain this strategy So we continue to update that article and that’s just an example We continue to update the information and as we could discover new keywords as people change their search behavior We add more to it and we update that date now that has provided Consisting rankings in the top one Maybe drop for a few days to number two, but going back to number one for years.

And this just goes to prove that Google really is focused on displaying fresh content, new content, making sure that it’s up to date. And you know, if you’re running to an article that does a good job of answering a query, but it’s from 2017, there’s a higher chance for a 2024 article that. It’s equally or a little bit better.

It’s just gonna outrank the 2017 Again, this is the theory but I have seen it over the years where if you just leave a website sitting with no content updates Whatsoever there will be a competitor that’s going to surpass you easily. So to wrap this up I guess I just wanted to ask myself. Do I trust google or even better?

Can you trust google? And there’s spokespeople and people that come representing to Google and to the industry and talk about ranking factors and whatnot. I would say, I think at the end of the day, this document really doesn’t change my, my thinking, my, my way of doing things. I have never really followed to a T.

I guess due to the fact that during my, Early days of my seo career. I just learned that the best way was to test and learn Test as much as I could to try to figure out what worked what didn’t work and then learn and then continue test So this document doesn’t change whatsoever I don’t think this is a game changer as an seo professional or Leading an seo agency.

I don’t think this is specifically a game changer on strategy or what you need to focus on or what? You need to optimize I think at the end of the day experienced SEOs know what they’re doing because they have experimented for years I think that’s where the value of this comes from is is not the fact that you go do what?

What somebody else tells you to do if you know you you gotta take information Specifically from the web no matter who it is coming from even this video, right? Like no matter if i’m saying it you gotta take it with a grain of salt. These are my thoughts This is my based on my experience and my knowledge and my take on these documents You gotta take it with a grain of salt apply it towards your experience and then figure out your own game plan I think this is just another great example of that where SEOs just really know what they’re doing.

And it’s funny because I saw that phrase on, on some of the articles that I was reading, and I was trying to get my grasp on the, on the learnings from these documents, but I really think that is the case on this one. So with that, thank you so much for watching. Hit that like button, hit that subscribe button, as we have many, many different episodes coming that I think are going to be very valuable to you.

Thank you so much for watching. I will see you on the next episode.

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