“I still suggest you call
this page 42Lab.
Works for both of us!”
- Joey

Google’s Ranking Secrets Exposed! Decoded Leak Reveals SEO Game-Changers

This is the scoop of the century: Google’s leaked internal files and secret algorithm for rankings, and this is a first-ever peek at the elements of scoring that make it so one site ranks higher in results over another.

Industry luminaries Rand Fishkin and Michael King review these revelations with a fine-tooth comb and provide digital architects and SEOs with the information they need to understand Google Search better than ever. It breaks down the critical findings from those leaked documents to give an authoritative yet approachable guide on how to find the trees in that SEO forest.

The Leak: A Brief Overview

On March 13, an automated bot named Yoshi-code-bot released thousands of documents from Google’s internal Content API Warehouse on GitHub. Shared with Rand Fishkin, co-founder of SparkToro, and Michael King, CEO of iPullRank, these documents reveal crucial elements that Google uses to rank content. The implications of this leak are monumental, potentially reshaping our understanding of SEO strategies and Google’s search algorithm.

Key Findings from the Leaked Documents

Ranking Features and Attributes

The leaked documents highlight that Google’s ranking algorithm comprises 2,596 modules with 14,014 attributes. Although the exact weighting of these features remains unspecified, their existence alone provides valuable insights into Google’s ranking considerations.

Twiddlers and Demotions

Twiddlers are re-ranking functions that adjust the information retrieval score or change the ranking of a document. Content can be demoted for various reasons, including:

  • Mismatched links
  • User dissatisfaction signals
  • Product review quality
  • Location relevance
  • Exact match domains
  • Inappropriate content

Link Importance

Despite ongoing debates, the documents confirm that link diversity and relevance are critical ranking factors. PageRank, a longstanding component of Google’s algorithm, remains integral, particularly for a website’s homepage.

Click Metrics

Successful clicks play a pivotal role in rankings. Google measures clicks using various metrics, such as badClicks, goodClicks, lastLongestClicks, and unsquashedClicks. Longer documents may be truncated, while shorter content is scored based on originality, particularly for Your Money Your Life (YMYL) content, such as health and news.

Brand and Entities

Brand recognition is paramount. Fishkin’s analysis underscores that building a notable, popular brand can significantly enhance organic search rankings. Additionally, Google stores author information and uses entity recognition to associate content with its authors.

Site Authority and Chrome Data

The concept of site authority, though publicly denied by Google in recent years, appears in the documents. Google also utilizes data from its Chrome browser for ranking purposes, evidenced by a module called ChromeInTotal. Given that Google has previously denied using Chrome to rank web pages, this is especially interesting.

Whitelists and Small Sites

Google maintains whitelists for certain domains, such as those related to elections and COVID-19. There is also a feature for small personal sites, which may be subject to ranking adjustments via Twiddlers.

Freshness and Core Topics

Freshness is a key factor, with Google evaluating dates in bylines, URLs, and on-page content. The documents also reveal that Google uses vectorization to determine whether a page aligns with the core topics of the website.

Practical Implications for SEO

The insights from the leaked documents provide actionable strategies for SEO professionals:

  1. Focus on Link Diversity and Quality: Ensure a diverse and relevant link profile to maintain and improve rankings. According to Ahrefs, pages with high backlink diversity rank significantly higher in search results.
  2. Optimize for User Experience: Drive successful clicks through high-quality content and engaging user experiences. A study by Search Engine Journal found that user experience metrics, such as dwell time and bounce rate, are strongly correlated with higher rankings.
  3. Build a Strong Brand: Invest in brand recognition and authority within your niche. Data from Edelman shows that 81% of consumers need to trust a brand to consider buying from them.
  4. Leverage Author Expertise: Highlight author credentials and expertise, especially for YMYL content. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) are crucial for YMYL content, according to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
  5. Stay Updated on Content Freshness: Regularly update content to maintain relevance and freshness. HubSpot’s research indicates that websites with regular content updates see 3.5 times more traffic and 4.5 times more leads.

How 42Works Can Help?

At 42Works, we specialize in providing comprehensive digital solutions to enhance your online presence and boost your search rankings. Our services include:

  1. SEO Optimization: Implementing the latest SEO strategies to improve your website’s visibility on search engines.
  2. Content Creation: Crafting high-quality, engaging content tailored to your target audience.
  3. Link Building: Develop a diverse and authoritative link profile to enhance your site’s credibility.
  4. Brand Development: Building a strong, recognizable brand to improve your organic search rankings.
  5. Web Development: Creating user-friendly, optimized websites that provide an excellent user experience.

By leveraging our expertise, you can navigate the ever-evolving landscape of SEO with confidence and achieve sustainable growth. Contact us now!


The leaked Google documents have unveiled a treasure trove of information, offering a deeper understanding of the factors that influence search rankings. For digital architects and SEO professionals, these insights are invaluable, providing a roadmap to optimize strategies and stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization.

Key Takeaways

  • The leak provides unprecedented insights into Google’s ranking factors.
  • Link diversity, user experience, and brand recognition are critical for SEO success.
  • Freshness and author expertise remain important considerations.
  • Continuous adaptation and optimization are essential in the dynamic field of SEO.

By understanding and implementing these insights, digital architects and SEO professionals can enhance their strategies and achieve better search rankings in an increasingly competitive digital landscape.


The information presented in this article is based on the analysis of leaked documents, which may not represent the entirety of Google’s ranking algorithm. As the SEO landscape continues to evolve, staying informed and adaptable is crucial.

42 works

Exploring the Future of Apps with Apple

Read Blog

Dream Bigger. Work Greener.
Explore Our New & Sustainable Workspace

42 works
Get 42Works Blog updates in your Inbox!

    Virginia United States