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URGENT: May 2024 Google Search Leak Exposes Ranking Factors - Adapt or Die!

On the evening of May 27, 2024, SEOs discovered the biggest Google leak in history, with thousands of pages of API documents revealing how their search engine works.

14,000 items believed to be ranking signals or features on Google.

It's revealed what we've been preaching for years and found a long time ago.

SEOs everywhere are going insane...except for the smart ones.

The few smart ones who saw the truth all along.

Those who used tools to correlate, reverse-engineer and test up to 5,000 of Google’s ranking factors.

Google Search 2024 API Leak

Why “the truth”?

If you’re doing SEO, or have done SEO, read on. It could change the way you think about how to rank, so long as you’re smart enough to listen. I hope.

And if any of this language doesn't make sense to you, just skip over it and read the rest.

Overview of the Google Leak


This bombshell leak confirms so many simple ranking TRUTHS.

Advice I give to my clients – and many of them don’t listen. And they pay for it.

Those who do listen, on the flipside, consistently get results.


This isn’t just a minor slip-up; it’s a bombshell that confirms what true SEOs have known all along. Google has been publicly misleading us about most of their ranking factors.

Smart SEOs have questioned everything Google has said in public for years, and tested their claims. And they prove the opposite true.

Those who do so consistently get results – and get ahead of Google’s algo updates. Which have become more brutal. More complex. More incomprehensible.

The tests show it. And testing is not easy. It’s a time-consuming process.

If you haven’t paid for my advice, or refused it, be smart and question everything Google says from here on out.


Some of the “shocking” new revelations in Google’s doc include:

  1. Google pays attention to how quickly and consistently you get backlinks.
  2. Backlinks with legit human activity get value. Backlinks without it don’t; they can even weigh your site down.
  3. Your content needs to earn a user’s attention or Google might demote you.
  4. If you’re faking clicks to your website, you’ll get demoted.
  5. Google has a three-tier system they use to grade content. When your content gets into the top tier, it's like winning a gold medal 🥇. Google gives you the most attention and responds fastest to your SEO efforts.
  6. When making links, keep the link text relevant.
  7. Google pays attention to your UX. (NO! Don’t go telling me “my site is easy to use” when your customers constantly complain about it… 🤦) 
  8. When you have detailed on-page optimization above and beyond that ‘they’ normally teach you, Google rewards you. 
  9. When you combine that with off-page from great sources like news sites, Google considers you an authority.
  10. Google uses Chrome to spy on users’ browsing activity and determine your sites (and sites that link to you) are spammy or not.
  11. On-site topics, links and clicks have a relationship.

Many of these things are mentioned multiple times in patents.

What Do We Say About This?

Guess what…that’s why I’ve been using press releases as an SEO strategy and coaching clients on how to do them correctly.

And people won’t listen. And they pay for it in loss of results.

On the other hand, those who do listen to me get knockout results from the search engines.

I’ve known 10 out of 11 of the above ranking factors to be true for years. 

Why? Because:

  1. My brain senses patterns in Google’s behavior.
  2. I’ve learned for years from smart SEOs who question the system.
  3. I’ve done what I learned from them – and have achieved bonkers results.

People lately have been watching their sites tank, they complain to me, and they wonder why.

I tell them the simple truth:

➡️”You’re not giving us material for press releases consistently.”

Look, I’m not the smartest. I’m simply obsessed with the truth. The truth gets you places in life.

SEO Test Results Proving the Leak's Contents True

I pay to participate in testing groups, perform tests, and share our test results. Here's some of the test results.

Case Study #1:

➡️An SEO ranks #1 using a page completely written in Lorem Ipsum and keywords. He repeats it with several sites.

➡️Inspired by his test, in 2018-19 I rank a page #1 using Lorem Ipsum– without any off-page SEO.

Check out these results:

SEO case study for a page ranking for the keyword "real estate lawyer kitchener". Between May and August 2019, Semrush detected 7-10 keywords altogether, all matching or related to "real estate lawyer kitchener". By August 2019, it was #1 for more than half of those keywords. By December 2019 we were de-ranking this page. Only in recent history (2023) have we began re-ranking it, and it is now on

No backlinks. No internal links pointing to it on the site (except the sitemap). Just pure on-page SEO.

Here's what the page looked like in November 2018 when we first built it:

The "Real Estate Lawyer Kitchener" case study in Latin.

And here's what the page looked like in 2019 when it was #1. Some lawyers complained -- after all, most lawyers don't have a sense of humor. 😉 So we changed the dummy Latin to English...and it still ranked.

The "Real Estate Lawyer Kitchener" case study in English.

Conclusion: Google cannot read. They still cannot read.

I can’t expose my friends’ sites. But I can show you my test page from 2018-19 – and we’re slowly reviving it. It’s still getting searched.

This means to say:

🟢It still works.

🔴Google is lying.

Case Study #2:

➡️Small medical services company in Mexico City runs up against bigger whales with way deeper pockets. Think Marianas Trench deep.

➡️We ran 2 press releases a month, often on 2 different platforms. They exploded in traffic and leads quarter over quarter.

Conclusion: In 2018 we spent $450 on a single backlink from Reddit. One g-ddamned backlink. 

Here I didn’t have to spend any more money and got dozens of referring domains a month.

Press releases are the cheapest way of getting backlink diversity – what Google is looking for.

And if you’re not in the USA – American press releases WORK not only in English-speaking countries, they work for clients in countries that speak entirely in Spanish.

That speaks volumes.

No, I'm not talking press releases in the traditional sense of just announcing something. That makes it a lot more difficult. I'm talking press releases like using the affiliate news websites as a mechanism for distributing any of your content and generating those much needed signals Google sees and wants to see in order to rank your website. 

And yet Google won’t tell you openly.

The people decrying digital PR for SEO are attacking a straw man. If I were you, I’d ignore them and focus on actually doing the thing.

Here's this company's results at their peak:

A medical services company's SEO results.

The organic traffic cost in USD, measured by Semrush, was worth at least 5.6-7X their investment, because their investment varied over time.

This is a B2B company, with a majority traffic originating from desktop devices, and $1,000 to $1,500 worth of traffic from mobile searches.

You may notice they've been going down somewhat. To spare you the details, in 2022, their management changed, and testing was no longer the priority for them. For that and other reasons, we had to stop work at the end of 2022.

Oh well. They're still riding high on Page One for several of the keywords -- proving the value's been preserved from those years of PR work.

Case Study #3:

➡️Industry-leading blog gets 1 million visitors a month…then totally tanks after the first Google Helpful Content Update.

➡️They get a push back up after we tell them to get rid of obviously crappy backlinks.

➡️They refuse our advice to keep building good ones.

➡️They haven’t pruned content in over a decade. Google pays attention to that stuff.

➡️Because they didn’t listen, they keep falling and falling with each consecutive update.

And they now believe SEO is not worth it. Go fig.

Conclusion: Links matter when you do them right. Think about it, this guy had at least two teams he was listening to. Or should I say teams of yes-men? 

Yes…they were putting out a lot of content. Yes…they had a WordPress plugin that did basic SEO. Better than nothing.

But the bad backlink profile tipped the scale way too much against this site.

So Where Do We Go Next?

If all of this seems to make SEO more complex, yes. It is complex. There are a lot of factors behind the scenes. 

But by following the process, it doesn’t have to be.

When clients cooperate with us and let us do that, it’s a breeze.

Clients who refuse our advice, ghost me, or impose their own ways of doing things, suffer in lost visibility.

And lost traffic.

And lost revenue.

See what I’m saying?

It's truly unfortunate that I've been giving all this advice for years, and so many people haven't been listening. 

As crazy and unbelievable as it seems, I'm not surprised that it took this huge leak to wake everyone up.

Could Google change things overnight? They may or may not. So far (as of May 30) they've been silent about this leak. They haven't publicly commented on it nearly as fast as they push algorithm updates.

As I said, I can sense behavior patterns, including from speech. Based on Google's silence, they know the cat's already out of the bag and there's no turning back. At this point they're simply doing a CYA. Only time will tell if they make big changes to Google Search.

Regardless, Google is a mega-corp. People trusted their advice for years, but that trust is eroding. The proof is now undeniable, and the stakes have never been higher. It’s time for you to step into the truth if you’re ready to face it.

At the same time, not everything is black and white. There are gazillions of ways to get from point A to point B. Which way you get there? Depends how much budget you have and how fast you want it.

I am here to help you implement these strategies and turn your SEO around. Let’s not waste any more time or money. Your business depends on it.

Reach out to me today to discuss how we can move forward effectively. Let’s turn these revelations into opportunities for growth and success.



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