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  • Writer's pictureDan Lauer

Google Has a Credibility and Reputation Problem Now After Search Document Leaks

In the past couple of years the relationship between Google Search and Digital Marketers/SEO's/Site Owners has become more and more contentious. Between AI Overviews, Reddit, Algorithm Updates, anti-trust lawsuits, etc.

Just in the past 6 months - Google launched the Core Algorithm Update in March 2024 and it took 45 days to roll out - thing is Google didn't/forgot/whatever to tell anyone a week after it finished. Ooopps?! I follow the Google Algorithm updates regularly - as most SEO's do - and I don't remember Google jus saying oh yeah - that ended X days again - sorry - my bad.

Then we have Reddit. Google expanded it's partnership in February, apparently now training their AI systems with Reddit content, and in May 2023 announced the "hidden gems" signal. As any SEO'er knows the presence of Reddit has exploded since the September 2023 Helpful Content Algorithm Launch - where reddit threads ranking for +200% more keywords (which is millions of new keywords), including YMYL topics ranking on Page 1 - which contradicts what Google has said. Despite harsh criticism - Google Response? Hey if people find it "helpful" it they will show it.

Then at Google I/O earlier this month Google announced SGE - now AI Overviews is live for US users and citing websites in AI overviews that aren't ranking in the top 100 spots and still sharing dangerously inaccurate information. Some of the cited links are 404 links, parked domains, and reddit threads and content that is 10+ years old. Oh - and we have no visibility into CTRs, Clicks, Impression in Google Search Console, etc.

And now the icing on the cake, or brownie, today leaked documents about how Google Search Algorithms work citing over 14,000+ signals and a bunch of which entirely contradict what Googler's have said previously - and where Google has called people out saying those were SEO myths seem like they are legit ranking factors, like links, domain authority, page titles, the importance of E-E-A-T, etc.

Google is receiving ton's of, to be frank, bad press lately and adding to the above, people complaining about the quality or search results, and Google is not responding well. It has been a rough year + for Google, on the heels of their anti-trust lawsuit and these leaked documents and terrible rollout of AI Overviews.

I'm not sure right now how any SEO/Digital Marketer/Website Owner can fully trust what Google says and does. When you are not transparent about when algorithm updates finish and you call SEO's liars? The impact of Googles Credibility problem, plus the quality of the SERP right now - how many people are going to stop using Google? We saw some market share declined for Google last report - how much do we see in the next Search Market Share Report?

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