Leaked Documents Reveal Google Allegedly Manipulated Search Ranking and Results

By Thea Felicity

May 30, 2024 01:33 PM EDT

This illustration photograph taken on December 22, 2023, shows the logo of US multinational technology and Internet-related services company Google displayed on a smartphone's screen, in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.
(Photo : KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Leaked documents shared by Gizmodo revealed Google's secretive control over internet information as SEO experts dissect a trove of 14,000 ranking features.

This revelation, first reported by SEO veteran Rand Fishkin, exposes how Google's algorithms shape online content, prompting comparisons to referees rewriting football rules midway through the Super Bowl. 

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How Google Allegedly Manipulated Searches

The leaked documents revealed that Google manipulates searches through its algorithmic processes, which involve numerous ranking factors and signals to determine the order of search results. 

These ranking factors can include website authority, relevance to the search query, user engagement metrics, and numerous other considerations. 

By adjusting these factors and algorithms, Google can influence which websites appear at the top of search results for specific queries, effectively controlling the visibility and accessibility of online content.

It also does not help that Google's algorithms are continuously updated and refined, allowing the company to adapt its search results to changes in user behavior, technological advancements, and evolving internet trends.

Earlier this year, VCPost reported that Google is making it hard to look up alternative email services following an EU complaint from Tuta Mail.

With insights into how Google determines website authority and ranking factors, the leak challenges Google's public statements and raises concerns about manipulating real-time processes. 

For instance, Gizmodo found that small publishers notice decreases in the amount of traffic their websites receive. Their observed signs suggest that political biases may influence how their content is ranked or displayed in Google search results. Currently, Google remains tight-lipped about these revelations.

However, experts call for urgent transparency and accountability in understanding the editorial choices behind Google Search's supposedly objective algorithms.

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