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Search Engine Recap - Week 22 (2024)

Here’s your weekly rundown of the biggest news from the search engine world, keeping your SEO strategy ahead of the competition. Welcome to week 22.

This week featured a leak from Google’s documentation, new search features, and an update to Google Business Profiles. Here’s a an overview.

Major Leak on Google Documentation

We start with the week’s biggest story: a significant leak of Google Search API documents that has sparked considerable debate among SEO experts.

The leaked documents reveal Google’s internal documentation and suggest that user engagement metrics such as clicks and impressions might affect search rankings, contradicting Google’s previous statements.

google api documentation leak

The documents mention functions like “goodClicks” and “badClicks” and hint at potential use of Chrome data, providing insights into other ranking factors.

However, Google clarified that these documents pertain to their Document AI Warehouse, not directly to search algorithms.

Experts, including former Google employees, confirm the documents' authenticity but stress they do not unveil ranking secrets – they don’t reveal anything unknown to those who work with SEO daily. While the leak is significant, it’s not groundbreaking information, especially for seasoned SEO professionals.

Nevertheless, SEO professionals should review the documentation to clarify the topic and gain insights into Google’s internal development processes.

New Google Search Profile Feature

Google has introduced a new search profile feature that makes user reviews publicly accessible and centrally managed.

Originally private, this feature will become public on June 24, 2024, enhancing transparency and user influence.

google search profile

It aims to make reviews more useful and trustworthy, allowing users to easily view, update, and delete their reviews. Personal information from Google accounts remains private, and users can opt-out by deleting their profiles.

This change can significantly impact consumers, reviewers, and publishers by fostering a more trustworthy review ecosystem.

SGE’s Potential Impact on Webshops

Google’s AI overviews are dramatically changing visibility for e-commerce by pulling product data from sites that don’t currently rank.

An analysis of 25,000 searches reveals that 16% now include AI overviews (where applicable), but 80% of these sources do not rank organically.

ai overview google analysis

This shift emphasizes "accelerated" user experiences over traditional organic results.

As a result, webshops should optimize product pages beyond standard SEO practices to adapt. This is largely because AI overviews—or answers—trigger a different and more informative search intent, which many webshops do not always cover adequately.

This change creates new visibility opportunities but requires e-commerce businesses to rethink their SEO strategies.

Google Indexing EPUB Files

Google has started indexing EPUB files, a format widely used for e-books.

This update means that EPUB content can now appear in Google’s search results, although these files do not yet rank in search results.

epub google indexing

The integration aims to enrich the web with digital book content and improve visibility.

This move aligns with Google’s broader strategy to support various content types. While EPUB files are now indexed, they mainly appear through specific file type searches rather than general searches, indicating an early stage in their integration.

Google Shutting Down Business Profile Chat Function

We end with Google’s announcement that it will shut down its Business Profile chat function on July 31, 2024. New chat conversations can no longer be initiated from July 15, and the function will be fully phased out by the end of the month.

google business profile update

Businesses are encouraged to download their chat history using Google Takeout and explore alternative chat solutions for customer communication.

Despite the shutdown, customers can still contact businesses via Google Search and Maps and other information on Business Profiles.

Takeaways and Recommendations

Week 22 will be remembered for one of the biggest documentation leaks at Google in recent times. The public gained direct insights into Google’s internal documents, sparking considerable discussion about Google’s ranking factors.

Delving into the content reveals no major surprises. There are certainly areas where Google has been ambiguous, which we now have more answers for.

But overall, it underscores things most in SEO already know. It also highlights that the best approach combines listening to Google and drawing from one’s own experiences, rather than relying on one exclusively. This combination is also the way forward we work with at Bonzer.

Besides the leak, we saw continuous updates to search, offering more optimization opportunities for businesses and a better search engine for users.

Need help with the updates, such as how your business should work with Google’s documentation? Request an SEO analysis with us at Bonzer. As a specialized SEO agency, we work diligently with search engine optimization every day.

Thomas Bogh

CPO & Partner

Thomas er CPO samt Partner, hvorfor fokus til dagligt ligger i evig analyse af Googles algoritme og udvikling af SEO som produkt. Thomas har arbejdet med SEO i flere år med stor passion for at sprede know how på, hvordan man som virksomhed implementerer SEO bedst i sin forretning. Ved siden af Bonzer bidrager Thomas med viden til læserne hos bl.a. Search Engine Journal, DanDomain og Detailfolk. Herudover har han også undervist i Digital Mediestrategi på Copenhagen Business School i København. Har du ønsker eller spørgsmål vedr. SEO universet, kan du altid kontakte ham på [email protected].

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A brief meeting, where we review your position in the market and present the opportunities.