Google has admitted that around 2,500 leaked internal documents from its Search feature are authentic.

The leaked Search material was first reported by search engine optimization (SEO) experts Rand Fishkin and Mike King, according to reports.

In a statement to The Verge, the company said “we would caution against making inaccurate assumptions about Search based on out-of-context, outdated, or incomplete information”.

Google said that it has shared extensive information about “how Search works and the types of factors that our systems weigh, while also working to protect the integrity of our results from manipulation.”

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The leaked material allegedly suggests that Google “collects and potentially uses data” that company representatives have said does not contribute to ranking webpages in Google Search.

However, the leaked information is likely to create some panic across the SEO industry.

According to Fishkin, the leaked documents outline Google’s search API and break down what information is available to employees.

SEO expert King said in his overview of the documents that “Lied” is harsh but “it’s the only accurate word to use here”.

“While I don’t necessarily fault Google’s public representatives for protecting their proprietary information, I do take issue with their efforts to actively discredit people in the marketing, tech, and journalism worlds who have presented reproducible discoveries,” he wrote.

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