Google Search API Leaks Part 2: Adjusting SEO Tactics

Following the revelation of confidential Google API information, the SEO industry is undergoing a period of reflection and adjustment. The leaked details provide an opportunity for us to review, and consider refining our strategies, better aligning them with Googles changing algorithms and maintain a competitive edge. In this second segment of our series, we will cover how adjusting SEO tactics after the Google API Exposure could benefit you.

As we discussed in Google Search API Leaks Part 1: SEO Strategies and Beyond, the disclosure of the confidential documentation unveiled over 14,000 potential ranking factors. Our SEO team took the time to sift through the findings to better understand the implications this could have on SEO strategies as we previously knew them. Some of the key revelations included User Experience, Quality Content, Brand Recognition and Site Authority.


The Importance of Adjusting SEO Tactics

The leaked documents share a wealth of valuable information, but certain revelations stand out as particularly crucial for SEO professionals aiming to stay ahead in 2024 and beyond.  Emphasizing improved user engagement, creating top notch content and consistently monitoring your site will be essential in navigating the now exposed landscape. Lets dive deeper into the insights for each area and how to best adjust strategy accordingly.

Content Quality and Effort

Insight from “Effort Calculations” – One significant revelation from the leak is that Google uses Language Model (LLM) calculations to estimate the effort behind creating content. Pages demonstrating higher effort—marked by detailed, unique, and comprehensive content—are rewarded in rankings (Ansley, 2024). Google values content that is labor-intensive to create, as it tends to offer more value and is less likely to be duplicated across the web.
  1. In-Depth Articles:

    • Comprehensive Coverage – Develop articles that delve deeply into topics, providing both depth and breadth. This could mean covering historical context, current trends, and future predictions all in one piece. According to the leak, content with unique information and in-depth analysis tends to score higher on Google’s effort calculations (Ansley, 2024).
    • Internal Links – Create internal links to related content, helping users and search engines navigate and understand the richness of your content ecosystem.
  2. Multimedia Integration:

    • Images and Infographics – Use high-quality visuals, charts, and infographics to simplify complex information and enhance user engagement. The Google API documentation highlights that utilitarian features such as images and videos can influence page quality scores (Ansley, 2024).
    • Videos: Produce videos that offer tutorials, interviews, or insightful commentaries. Videos increase user dwell time and can significantly impact your engagement metrics.
  3. Unique Information:

    • Original Research – Conduct and publish original research, surveys, or data analysis. Original content is highly valuable and can earn significant backlinks. The incorporation of unique and proprietary information has been shown to boost page quality scores significantly (Ansley, 2024).
    • Expert Commentary – Include expert opinions and insights to add credibility and depth to your content

Quality Assurance

To ensure your content remains valuable and relevant, regular maintenance is crucial.
  1. Content Audits:

    • Scheduled Reviews – Periodically review your content to update outdated information and ensure relevance. Ansley noted the importance of regular content updates in maintaining high-effort scores.
    • Gap Analysis – Identify and fill content gaps to provide comprehensive coverage of your topics.
  2. Incorporating New Information:

    • Latest Trends and Data – Continuously update your content to include the latest trends, data, and developments in your industry. Frequent updates align with Google’s preference for fresh and relevant content (Ansley, 2024).
    • User Feedback – Utilize user feedback to improve and refine your content. Tools like Google Analytics can provide valuable insights into how users interact with your content.

Building and Maintaining Authority

The leak confirms the existence of a site authority metric, internally referred to as siteAuthority, which Google employs to assess overall site quality. This metric impacts the visibility of new pages based on the domain-level aggregate scores (Fishkin, 2024). The quality of individual pages influences the siteAuthority score, which in turn affects the visibility of new content.

Developing a Robust Authority Strategy

  1. Consistent High-Quality Content:
    • Publish Regularly – Maintain a consistent publishing schedule to keep your audience engaged and demonstrate to Google that your site is active and authoritative.
    • E-A-T Principles – Emphasize Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) in all your content, particularly for YMYL (Your Money Your Life) topics. Maintaining high E-A-T standards can lead to better site authority scores, as suggested by the leaked documents (Ansley, 2024).
  2. Quality Backlinks:
    • Earn Backlinks from Reputable Sites – Focus on getting backlinks from high-authority sites within your industry. Reach out for guest posts, collaborations, and press mentions.
    • Digital PR Campaigns – Conduct digital PR campaigns to get your content mentioned in reputable media outlets and blogs. Fishkin emphasized the role of quality backlinks in building and maintaining site authority.

Strengthening Brand Presence

The leak suggests that branded search volume correlates with higher rankings. Sites with high branded search volumes, where users search for the brand name specifically, tend to perform better in rankings. Building a strong, recognizable brand that encourages users to search for your brand name can positively impact your rankings.

Fostering Brand Recognition

  1. Brand-Building Campaigns:
    • Consistent Branding – Ensure your brand’s messaging, visuals, and tone of voice are consistent across all channels.
    • Marketing Investments – Invest in marketing campaigns that enhance brand recognition and drive branded searches.
  2. Engagement and Interaction:
    • Social Media Presence – Maintain an active and engaging presence on social media platforms to build brand awareness and foster community engagement.
    • Customer Engagement – Engage with your audience through comments, forums, and social media interactions to build loyalty and increase branded searches.

Monitoring and Adapting to Algorithmic Penalties

The leaked documents detailed various algorithmic penalties and demotions, such as those for poor navigation and low-quality content. Understanding these penalties is crucial for maintaining a clean and effective SEO strategy (Fishkin, 2024). Vigilantly maintain site integrity to avoid penalties that could negatively impact your SEO performance.

Preventative Measures

  1. Regular Audits:

    • Site Audits – Conduct regular comprehensive audits to identify and rectify potential issues that could lead to algorithmic penalties.
    • Content Quality Checks – Ensure all content adheres to high-quality standards and is free from manipulative practices like keyword stuffing.
  2. User Feedback Integration:
    • User Experience Improvements – Continuously monitor user feedback and analytics to identify and fix issues impacting user satisfaction.
    • Content Refinement – Refine and update content based on user feedback to ensure it remains engaging and valuable.


In conclusion

It’s crucial that we reconsider the approach, and adjusting SEO tactics after the Google API exposure can ensure strategies incorporate some of these new findings. By prioritizing user experience improvements, producing top notch content and closely monitoring the website performance and user experience, we can set up for long term success.

Be on the lookout for our upcoming third installment, where we will review adapting backlinking and Digital PR strategies.
Reach out to our SEO team to discuss your strategy adjustment needs and Subscribe to our monthly newsletter receive updates and stay ahead in SEO innovation!



Resource Citations

  1. Ansley, A. (2024 May 30). Analyzing Googles Significant Search Documentation Leak. Featured in Search Engine Land.
  2. Fishkin, R. (2024 May 31). How Marketers and Publishers Should Approach SEO Post Google API Leak. Source; SparkToro

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