Google confirms that the leaked search documents are real

A batch of 2,500 leaked internal Google documents filled with details about the data the company collects are authentic, the company confirmed today. So far, Google has refused to comment on the materials.

The documents in question include details of the data Google tracks, some of which could be used in its closely guarded search ranking algorithm. The documents provide an unprecedented — though still mysterious — look under the hood of one of the most important systems shaping the Web.

“We would caution against making inaccurate assumptions about search based on out-of-context, outdated or incomplete information,” Google spokesman Davis Thompson said. the edge In an email message. “We share comprehensive information about how the research works and the types of factors our systems weigh, while also working to protect the integrity of our results from manipulation.”

The existence of the leaked material was first made clear by search engine optimization (SEO) experts. Rand Fishkin And Mike King, who published preliminary analyzes of the documents and their contents earlier this week. Google did not respond to the edgeMultiple requests for comment yesterday about the authenticity of the leak.

The leak will likely cause ripples across the SEO industry.

The leaked materials indicate that Google is collecting and possibly using data that company representatives said does not contribute to web page rankings in Google Search, such as clicks, Chrome user data, and more. Thousands of pages of documents serve as a repository of information for Google employees, but it’s not clear what detailed pieces of data are actually used to classify search content — the information may be outdated, used strictly for training purposes, or collected but not used for research specifically . The documents also do not reveal how the various elements in the search were weighted, if at all.

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However, information made public is likely to cause ripples across the SEO, marketing, and publishing industries. Google is usually very secretive about how its search algorithm works, but these documents – along with recent testimony in an antitrust case brought by the US Department of Justice – have provided more clarity about the signals Google considers when it comes to ranking websites. .

The choices Google makes in search have a profound impact on anyone who relies on the Web for their business, from small independent publishers to restaurants to online stores. In turn, an industry of people hoping to crack the code or outsmart the algorithm has emerged, providing sometimes conflicting answers. Google’s ambiguity and word redaction haven’t helped, but the flow of internal documents offers, at least, a sense of what the company that dominates the Internet is thinking.

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