Google’s Algorithm Leak: Key Secrets for Website Owners To Know

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Thousands of leaked documents from Google Search’s Content Warehouse API were widely shared at the end of May. This internal data gives us an unprecedented look into Google’s algorithm and how it might work, offering a unique chance to review what Google deems important on a website.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical if you want your site and content to rank highly – this is how the right readers and customers find your business. And website owners have been gifted a sneak peek into the inner workings of Google.

Despite the overwhelming amount of information, the leak doesn’t reveal algorithm weightings, but there are some key takeaways to consider for website owners looking to improve their rankings.

Optimizing Your Site for Google Search

Appealing to Google Search is a difficult and time-consuming task, especially for small business websites. Based on the algorithm leak, here are some areas to focus on:

  • Focus on original content – Creating content from scratch, instead of using AI-generated content, will pay off in the long run because we now know that Google scores content for originality.
  • Value authorship – Google recognizes authors on published content and will store this information when checking text.
  • Think about the country you operate in – Is your website targeting a specific location, such as the US? Building quality links from other local sites and focusing on your target region is important since Google will associate your site with a location.
  • Don’t rush growth – It takes time to see results, and it isn’t wise to switch strategies all the time, especially if you’re a new website. Give Google the time to get to know your website!
  • Generate good links – Diversify the links across your website and content (and use relevant anchor text) to show you’re directing readers to the right pages.
  • Stick to your niche – You must continue to create relevant content for your website to avoid negatively impacting your site’s rankings. For example, a pet supply store shouldn’t produce blog posts about cheap holiday destinations or video game tips.

Are Smaller Sites Struggling?

After a wave of damaging algorithm updates, there’s no question that smaller and niche websites are suffering – we’ve experienced the same difficulties at Website Builder Expert! The leak even notes that Google flags blogs, and small or personal websites as a “small personal site.”

For the time being, Google seems to favor large publishers with high domain authority, regardless of their content quality. An independent site that specializes in air purifiers, HouseFresh, shared its disappointment back in February:

“As a team that has dedicated the last few years to testing and reviewing air purifiers, it’s disheartening to see our independent site be outranked by big-name publications that haven’t even bothered to check if a company is bankrupt before telling millions of readers to buy their products.”

Despite being an expert in their niche, the HouseFresh team went on to lose 91% of search traffic following the March 2024 core update.

So, what can smaller sites do? The points I’ve shared above, based on Google’s algorithm leak, are a good starting point for optimizing your website to cater to Google’s preferences. Keep content fresh, follow SEO best practices, and continue to build your brand online.

Will this boost your rankings? There’s no guarantee, but all every website owner can do is try to keep up with Google’s likes and dislikes.

Written by:
emma ryan author bio
Emma’s been a Senior Writer at Website Builder Expert since 2022, having first-hand experience with website builders, such as Wix and Shopify, through hands-on testing and research analysis. Her work and expertise have been featured in Digiday, TechRound, Industry Today, and Digital Information World. Specializing in writing about website builders, ecommerce platforms, and hosting providers, Emma stays in the loop of industry updates by attending conferences such as eCommerce Expo and managing Website Builder Expert’s news articles.

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