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Google won’t comment on a potentially massive search leak

Illustration of Google’s wordmark, written in red and pink on a dark blue background.
Illustration: The Verge

Google’s search algorithm is perhaps the most consequential system on the internet, dictating what sites live and die and what content on the web looks like. But how exactly Google ranks websites has long been a mystery, pieced together by journalists, researchers, and people working in search engine optimization.

Now, an explosive leak that purports to show thousands of pages of internal documents appears to offer an unprecedented look under the hood of how Search works — and suggests that Google hasn’t been entirely truthful about it for years. So far, Google hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment on the legitimacy of the documents.

Rand Fishkin, who worked in SEO for more than a decade, says a source shared 2,500 pages of…

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