Google Confirms Search Leak But Urges Caution

May 30, 2024 - 7:51 am 86 by
Filed Under Google

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After over 32 hours of silence after the Google Search ranking data leak, Google has finally confirmed the leak, but urged caution around making assumptions on how Google Search ranking works based on the documents.

Google sent me a statement that reads:

We would caution against making inaccurate assumptions about Search based on out-of-context, outdated, or incomplete information. We’ve shared extensive information about how Search works and the types of factors that our systems weigh, while also working to protect the integrity of our results from manipulation.

I spoke with a Google representative about this data leak and Google would not comment about specific details in the data leak. Google said it simply won't talk about specific ranking signals, as it never really does. It does not do this, as Google said, because it does not want to give any advantage to bad-actors and spammers.

Google said it would be incorrect to assume that this information in the data leak is comprehensive, fully relevant, or even provides up-to-date information on the Google Search rankings. I don't think anyone would argue with this message - we just don't know.

So those rumors that this was fake are incorrect.

Did Google lie to us? I know many in the industry think Google lies to us. But I am not sure we can use this as clear evidence that Google outright lied to us. I mean, we just don't know if everything in this document was ever used, just used for testing, was used at the time Google made those statements. So it is just hard to know for sure.

That being said, I posted a poll on X asking "after reading Google's response to the data leak - will you trust Google going forward?" As you expect, most say they cannot trust Google, with currently over 1,200 votes - 90% said "No."

I also posted this, the responses are interesting and no way would Google answer 99% of them:

Finally, here are some reactions to Google's response:

There is just a lot of reaction, as you can imagine.

Forum discussion at X.

 

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