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Google Leak Validates Forensic SEO Expert’s Research of Helpful Content System

In a groundbreaking development, a recent leak from Google has confirmed published research of forensic SEO expert Carolyn Holzman, SEO Director of American Way Media, regarding the search giant's Helpful Content System targeting low quality content.

Information within this document supports Holzman's research that Google's algorithm determines the topical identity of a site and measures each page against that topical identity. This aligns with her data and Google descriptions of the HCS for the stated purpose of a system to tag content that does not match the identity as “unhelpful”.

HCU Guide Available

Decoding Google’s Helpful Content System” is a published analysis and guide based on Holzman’s seo testing, indexation research as well as field data that uncovered this obscured bias in the algorithm on a domain level.

“As one of the original SEO testers using the single variable testing method, we trained ourselves to create as clean a test environment as possible, test one variable, measure results and come to a conclusion and hopefully a statistically meaningful one. We taught ourselves to believe our eyes more than our ears. We never required Google to provide confirmation that we had indeed found something. The search results spoke for themselves.”

Holzman continues, “While I know the data told me truth, to wake up and find within this leaked Google document actual confirmation of my findings is beyond expectations.”

Internal Google documents which were found on a public platform revealed secret search engine algorithms, some contradicting previous Google's statements. The 2,500-page 'Google API Content Warehouse' document provides SEO insights, offering unprecedented details of how Search operates and measures various factors.

Google has yet to comment on this potentially massive leak of its search algorithm documentation.

While much of the content of the document confirms what is already known about Google’s efforts to recognize topical relevance as the means to sort the world’s information, there are many intriguing pieces to the complex puzzle of indexing, scoring and ranking that goes on behind the scenes in search.

In the document there were references to a factor called “BabyPandaV2Demotion”. Some analysts have interpreted this factor to likely related to Helpful Content Update but in Holzman’s estimations, they incorrectly assume it demotes content based on links and user signals inside of measurable "topical identify" of the domain. The only shared characteristic is affecting the site as a whole.

“Although the result is the same, there is more than one way to earn having your content tagged as “unhelpful. It’s clear from the research and testing that HC demotions can be earned from more than one thing. I disagree that the HCS is some form of Panda that was targeting content based on visitors' behavior and signals. Not saying that the algorithm doesn’t measure those, just that those signals are not a component in the HCS,” said Holzman.

Holzman runs a daily indexation research project over the past 992 days. August will mark year 3 of the project. The leaked documentation also provides additional framework and structure to her indexation research.

“We learned that internally the indexation system is refered to as “Alexandria”. Very interesting choice of name and without a doubt a reference to the ancient Library of Alexandria," Holzman speculated.

The Library was renowned for its collection of scrolls and its role as a center of learning and scholarship in antiquity. It was destroyed as a casualty of conflicts spanning from around 48 BC to the 7th century AD. Google's intention to store and organize the entire world's information fits with the reference.

Holzman continues to work to identify data patterns of sites that were hit by the Helpful Content System which initially were separate updates but in March 2024 was rolled into the Core Update system.

American Way Media is committing resources to create a repository of Helpful Content data, any sites that have been demoted in search can reach out to obtain confirmation if site data confirms an HC strike or not. With a clear diagnosis of a HC demotion, site recovery services can be focused on specific areas of content or technical seo depending on what type of "unhelpful" content was targeted.

To obtain a copy of Decoding Google’s Helpful Content System, it is available for sale on American Way Media's website.

For the latest in indexation research, join for up to date reports on the state of indexation.

For consultations, she can be reached at American Way Media or on Linkedin.


For more information about American Way Media, contact the company here:

American Way Media
Alison Kane
2309 Broughton Ct Suite B
Austin, TX 78727

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