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The future of organic search

Providing key insights from the leaked Google Search API documents and their impact on law firms.

Key topics discussed

Inside the Google leak

In a significant turn of events, thousands of internal Google search API documents have recently been leaked, shedding light on the intricate workings of the search giant’s ranking algorithms.

While this leak provides a treasure trove of information, it’s essential to approach the revelations with a mix of curiosity and caution.

Here, we’ll explore the key takeaways from the leaked documents and explore what they mean for the future of organic search and their impact for law firms.

Key insights from the leak

Brand authority matters more than ever

One of the stand-out revelations from the leak is the critical importance of brand authority. Rand Fishkin, co-founder of SparkToro, emphasised in his blog post that building a notable, popular and well-recognised brand outside of Google search is crucial for improving organic search rankings and traffic. This insight aligns with the notion that Google favours established brands that users trust and recognise.

Clicks and user behaviour impacts rankings

Contrary to Google’s longstanding denials, the leaked documents confirm that user behaviour metrics such as clicks, dwell time and impressions do influence rankings. This means that how users interact with your site post-click can significantly impact your site’s visibility in search results.

Chrome data utilisation

The documents also reveal that Google uses data from Chrome to inform its ranking algorithms. This includes valuable user behaviour information that helps Google assess the quality and relevance of web pages. This insight underscores the importance of providing a seamless and engaging user experience to maintain and improve search rankings.

Link categorisation and freshness

Links are categorised into low, medium, and high quality, with fresher links from high-quality sources carrying more weight. This highlights the ongoing importance of link building as a core SEO strategy but with a renewed focus on acquiring fresh, high-quality backlinks.

Sandbox for new domains

The concept of a ‘sandbox’ for new domains, where SEO efforts may be muted until trust is established, has been a topic of debate for years. The leaked documents confirm that new domains are indeed subject to a sandbox period, emphasising the need for a strategic and patient approach when launching new websites.

Authorship influence

The track record of expertise and authority of a writer can influence rankings. This reinforces the value of building a strong personal brand and demonstrating expertise in your field through content creation.

Implications for SEO strategies

1. Focus on brand building

Given the heightened importance of brand authority, businesses should invest in building a recognisable and trustworthy brand. This involves not only SEO but also broader marketing efforts, including social media, public relations, and content marketing.

2. Optimise for user engagement

With user behaviour metrics playing a crucial role in rankings, optimising for user engagement is paramount. Ensure your website is user-friendly, loads quickly, and provides valuable, engaging content that keeps visitors on your site longer.

3. Leverage Chrome data insights

Understanding that Google uses Chrome data for ranking means that you should prioritise user experience (UX) improvements. Monitor user behaviour through analytics tools and make data-driven decisions to enhance your site’s performance.

4. Quality over quantity in link building

Focus on acquiring high-quality, fresh backlinks rather than merely increasing the number of links. Develop relationships with reputable sites and create shareable, valuable content that naturally attracts links.

5. Strategic launch for new domains

When launching a new domain, be prepared for the initial sandbox period. Develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes building trust signals and gradually increasing your site’s authority.

6. Showcase author expertise

Highlight the expertise and authority of your content creators. Use author bios, by-lines, and author pages to showcase their credentials and build trust with both users and search engines.

7. Strategic shift in SEO approach

Building on these revelations, industry thought-leader Michael King advocates for strategic shifts in SEO approach to align with the new insights gleaned from the leak.

Emphasising the symbiotic relationship between SEO and UX, he highlights the importance of optimising for user engagement metrics, such as clicks and session success, to enhance search visibility.

Additionally, Michael underscores the need for experimentation-driven SEO, urging practitioners to test and adapt strategies to the dynamic nature of Google’s algorithms.

Impact on law firm SEO and online business generation strategies

The leak provides a rare glimpse into the complex algorithms that drive organic search rankings. While the insights are invaluable, it’s crucial to remember that the search landscape is continually evolving.

By focusing on building a strong brand, optimising for user engagement, leveraging data insights, prioritising quality link building and showcasing author expertise, businesses can navigate the future of organic search with confidence and resilience.

And as for us as a digital agency for law firms, the leak will be influencing our approach to SEO strategy. We’ll be continuing to study some of the most prolific materials and commentary.

Attracting law firm clients

One of the keys to attracting new clients is to answer their most pressing questions. To that end, we’re rolling out our new AI-driven FAQ content marketing offering.

Using our AI-SEO tools, we scrape the internet for the most commonly asked questions relative to your areas of practice. Then, we produce a short article which answers that question in layman’s terms, helping to attract, convince and convert new business.

Starting at, £190+VAT per month for 2 service areas, this new service can be rolled into your existing site immediately, allowing you to benefit right away.

For more information, please contact us.

This is an exclusive service for MLT clients only.

Our final comments

With this monumental leak, something Danny Goodwin on Search Engine Land has described as likely to become “one of the biggest stories in the history of SEO and Google Search”, one thing remains clear: the journey towards mastering organic search for online business generation purposes is an ongoing pursuit, fuelled by curiosity, collaboration, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge and expertise.

Stay curious, stay informed, and continue to adapt your SEO strategies to align with the ever-changing dynamics of search engine algorithms.


Picture of Chris Davidson

Chris Davidson

As MLT's Business Development Director, my focus is to build awareness of MLT’s unique capabilities among prospective clients and develop long term relationships with current clients.

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Gavin Ward

As MLT’s Projects Director, I help establish and maintain best-in-class project delivery, client service and performance standards.


Take action and stay on top of your law firm's SEO

Stay curious, stay informed, and continue to adapt your SEO strategies to align with the ever-changing dynamics of search engine algorithms.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your law firm navigate these changes and achieve online success.

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