7 must-see Google Search ranking documents in antitrust trial exhibits - Search Engine Land

The U.S. Department of Justice has released several new trial exhibits – including internal Google presentations, documents and emails related to ranking.

Here are seven that specifically discuss elements of Google Search ranking.

1. Life of a Click (user-interaction)

This is a heavily redacted PowerPoint presentation put together by Google’s Eric Lehman – and like most of the other documents, it lacks the full context accompanying it.

However, what’s here is interesting for all SEOs.

In “The 3 Pillars of Ranking,” slide, Google highlights three areas:

  • Body: What the document says about itself.
  • Anchors: What the Web says about the document.
  • User-interactions: What users say about the document.

Google added a note about user interactions:

  • “we may use ‘clicks’ as a stand-in for ‘user-interactions’ in some places. User-interactions include clicks, attention on a result, swipes on carousels and entering a new query.

If this sounds familiar to you, it should. Mike Grehan has written and spoken extensively about this for 20 years – including his Search Engine Land article The origins of E-A-T: Page content, hyperlink analysis and usage data.

In this slide, titled “User interaction signals,” Google illustrates the relationships of queries, interactions and Search results, alongside results for the query [why is the ocean salty]. Specific interactions mentioned by Google:

  • Read
  • Clicks
  • Scrolls
  • Mouse hovers

In September, Lehman testified during the antitrust trial that Google...

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