5 Simple Takeaways About the Google Leak for Business Owners Skip to Main Content

5 Simple Takeaways About the Google Leak for Busy Business Owners

Person looking at Google page on laptop

The recent Google breach of information related to how its search algorithm works unleashed an Internet crushing amount of blogs, posts, videos, opinions, and corresponding critiques and rebuttals.

Even though the topic is a direct hit on nearly any business’ marketing efforts, it is just too much quantity and jargon for you, the business owner, to attempt to digest.

Here’s my top 5 simple takeaways for business owners after everything I’ve read and watched, which is a lot.


1. You can’t trust what Google says. People who use the Google tools are fond of saying, “Pay attention to what Google does and not what Google says.” This breach cements that with several instances of Google saying they don’t collect specific information (like user behavior recorded by their Chrome browser) only to see detailed documents that seem to show they certainly do.

2. Domains do carry a reputation. Remember when people were buying and selling domains like crazy partially because a new business could rank faster if they bought a domain with a previously good reputation? Then Google said there is no such thing as domain reputation or authority. They really took the buzz out of buying and selling domains. Turns out, there may be such a thing as domain reputation after all. So the domain resale market may heat up and businesses may again try to put a value on their domains as an asset if they sell or merge.

3. Content at the top of the page matters more than content at the bottom of the page. Now, Google has never denied this, but it becomes clearer with this leak and businesses can tap into this. If I searched for “skin lotion,” you don’t have to tell me what skin lotion is. I know what it is. I searched it. So put your explanation of what skin lotion is at the bottom of the page and why your skin lotion is different at the top.

4. Backlinks do matter. Man, Google has been distancing themselves from this for years now, perhaps due to the fact that despite massive effort and spending on their part, they have not been able to control the backlink market. There are still “gray” opportunities for website owners to buy backlinks and therefore manipulate the rankings. So Google began a “Look over there!” PR strategy to pound in how important valuable unique content is to minimize the impact of backlinks. Turns out the impact of backlinks is not so minimal.

5. Freshness matters. Maybe the easiest thing to do to take advantage of this leak is to update your content. Think about it. How many business websites go years without ever changing the content? This leak shows that Google has multiple ways of measuring when your website page content was last updated, and it very much appears to be a ranking signal. There’s nothing technical about this. Find some updated statistics for your key selling pages. Schedule a task every quarter to update your key selling pages. It may be the simplest revelation to come out of this leak.


“Pay attention to what Google does and not what Google says.”


Now everyone who is writing about this leak includes their own disclaimers. Here’s mine:

  • Yes, Google is in a total Catch 22. They want to help businesses by helping them understand how Google works, but they really can’t help businesses understand how Google works or businesses will manipulate how Google works for their own interest. It’s a tough spot. What makes this leak so damning is that it makes it look like Google didn’t just deny or misdirect, but outwardly lied.
  • The most commonly advanced rebuttal to interpretations about the leak is that just because Google collects and stores a type of data, doesn’t mean they use it. Maybe. But this shows they store and trap A LOT of data, much of it previously undisclosed and even if you believe they don’t use 25% of it, they are still storing more data about your website than many people realized.

If you got this far, here’s what to do:

  • Start looking at your domain like any other business asset like a truck or a car or your brand. It has a distinct value. Your URL itself could be inherently contributing to your company’s visibility and giving you a competitive edge.
  • Don’t take Google’s word for Gospel. Make digital marketing decisions based on testing. Use an experienced agency who has run more tests and experiments than you can.
  • Focus on creating high-quality, informative content that addresses what the searcher wants and needs at the top of your pages.
  • Schedule routine content updates for your most important organic web pages.
  • If you or your agency slowed down backlink recruitment, pick that effort back up and attract backlinks by producing content that other websites find valuable.


About the Author:
Matt Weber is the President and CEO of ROAR! Internet Marketing. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, he has more than 30 years of experience in business marketing. A nationally recognized speaker for the Grow with Google program, Matt regularly presents to trade associations, conferences and civic organizations on a variety of digital marketing topics.

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