• Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Is Google’s Algorithm Leak an SEO Treasure?

The Gist

  • Validation confirmed. The leak confirms long-suspected SEO strategies.
  • Enhanced testing methods. New data will likely drive refined SEO testing techniques.
  • Actionable insights revealed. Key SEO tactics for sustained growth detailed.

As a professional search engine optimizer (SEO) for the last 10 years, reverse engineering the nebulous google algorithm has consumed a lot of my time and energy.

So when the news hit that the algorithm was accidentally made public via internal API documentation on GitHub, I was certainly paying attention. The documentation, which includes over 2,500 pages and over 14,000 lines of code detailing Google’s search ranking mechanisms, was publicly accessible from March 27 to May 7, 2024.

During this period, the data was indexed by third-party services, making it available even after Google removed it from GitHub. So the most guarded and prized algorithm in our history has been leaked to the public. Is it changing everything about how SEOs are operating? Surprisingly not. Let’s take a closer look at the Google algorithm leak and 10 search engine optimization insights. 

A vintage compass resting on an old, textured map marked with a red 'X'. The map features detailed geographical notations and routes in sepia tones, suggesting an ancient or historical theme. The compass is oriented towards the northeast, adding a navigational element to the scene in piece about the Google algorithm leak.
So the most guarded and prized algorithm in our history has been leaked to the public. Is it changing everything about how SEOs are operating?Fyle on Adobe Stock Photos

The Google Algorithm Leak: Testers Validate Practices

As Ted Kubaitis, founder and CEO of SEO Tool Lab asserted, “The leak mostly confirmed a lot of things SEO testers have already known for years. Kudos to the SEO testing groups who used scientific methods to get this information years ahead of the leak. Largely, this leak will give those testing groups more ideas on what and how to test. For example, the leak suggests that triggering a peak of spammy anchors over a period of time can result in a penalty. Testers can test methods that avoid different-sized peaks over different time frames to figure out best practices.”

Google Algorithm Leak Reveals Debated SEO Theories

While many theories from the more than 14,000 lines of code have been tested in masterminds and testing groups, an issue with this Google algorithm leak is that we still don’t know which factors are more significant than others. Many theories that SEOs have confirmed through testing, which Google publicly denounced, appear in these lines of code.

As the dust begins to settle, many website owners are left with more questions than answers. Where do we go from here? What is actionable? Below, we break down 10 actionable insights from the Google algorithm leak and steps to help your brand continue to grow online in 2024 and beyond.

Boost Brand Visibility With These 10 Strategic SEO Steps

1. Become a Bigger Brand

OK, let’s address the basics first. Google has stated that impressions for the entire website are part of the Quality NSR data. Some obvious ways to grow sitewide impressions would be to start running another source of traffic to your site like Facebook, Reddit, Bing, or Google Ads, or building a more robust content strategy.

Pro Tip: Instead of building your pay-per-click landing pages on a subdomain that is not indexed, it’s best to incorporate that into your website if at all possible to capitalize on this factor.

Related Article: Master Your B2B Content Strategy Like a Pro

2. Audit Your Navigation

Make sure to have a user-centric design making it easy for users to find what they are looking for. Include links to your most important pages in the top navigation. This ensures that these pages receive sufficient internal link equity and are easily discovered by search engines.

Pro Tip: Put the most important categories in the primary navigation and other target pages in the secondary nav. This helps distribute link equity throughout your site helping to boost the authority of deeper pages. Double-check how this looks on mobile vs. desktop.

Related Article: Not Your Parents’ Mobile UX Design Strategy

3. Add a Table of Contents to Blog Posts

Click-through rate, dwell time, and engagement signals on a page make a real impact. Adding a table of contents can help with UX elements like ease of navigation, enhanced readability, engagement (dwell time), and getting your pages featured as rich snippet results.

Pro Tip: If the TOC length is getting out of control, make it an expandable drop-down. This should also help with engagement signals.

Related Article: UI vs. UX Design: What’s the Difference?

4. Add Authorship to All Blog Posts

Google is looking to reward real websites with real humans behind them. An easy way to help your website here is by associating each blog post with a real author or person at the company. Each post should have a brief author bio at the bottom that includes credentials, social profiles and a link to its author bio section.

An author bio should have more in-depth information, including any awards, leadership signals and all of their posts. For higher stakes content, you will want to add a “reviewed by” section with someone who is an authority in the subject matter. It is important to feature this at the bottom of the post in an author box format as well as in the schema code with article schema featuring the corresponding author and “reviewed by” information.

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