Google has been shaking things up lately, and it’s got the SEO world abuzz with speculation. It was only two months ago that the search engine giant rolled out a mobile-friendly update that was designed to boost the rankings of pages that are easy to use on mobile devices.
News and Magazine Websites Are Seeing Sharp Upturns
Last week, Google made yet another change, though they are being more tight-lipped about this one than they were of so-called Mobilegeddon. All anyone can get out of them is that this update is a change to their core algorithm. Analysts around the internet have been scouring search results and rankings, and this is what they’ve determined:
- Google’s latest update is benefiting media websites, such as newspaper and magazine portals
- Google’s latest update may have some relation to HTTPS protocol
- This is not a Panda-related update, which is supposedly still coming but not for a few weeks
From what can be gathered, it seems that Google is taking a Twitter-like and Facebook-news-feed approach to search results. That is, Google is ranking sites based on trending keywords and hot topics. It’s for this reason that news and magazine sites, with their constantly updated content, are seeing the rankings bumps.
Over at Searchmetrics, an analysis was conducted to see what kinds of movement websites were seeing. All of the big winners, ranging from the Wall Street Journal and USA Today to Time and NBC News, were media outlets.
Are HTTPS Websites Also Getting A Lift In Rankings? Maybe, maybe not.
Another thing that has been noticed is that some websites using HTTPS protocol seem to be getting a bump. However, this may just be a coincidence. Currently, Wikipedia – a giant when it comes to internet real estate – is in the process of changing over to HTTPS, and it’s their web pages that are most noticeably moving up in search results.
Gary Illyes of Google has gone on the record to say that the latest update has nothing to do with HTTPS as far as he knows, so it’s possible that Wikipedia’s bump in rankings is just a result of the waves they’re causing by making such a huge and far-reaching switch.
It should be noted, though, that Google has talked about rewarding sites with HTTPS for a while, and some think that Wikipedia’s migration to the secure protocol might be giving Google the fuel it needs to progress with an HTTPS-related update sometime in the near future (if this update isn’t already doing it).
As the effects of Google’s latest update further become apparent, questions are being raised about the consequences of such a move. If analysts are correct about this new algorithm change, it means that internet search users will see results that swing widely depending on what’s going on in the world at any given moment.
For example, the results that would appear for a search of “World Cup” would be drastically different come tournament time compared to any other. Users would be presented with an abundance of news articles (some from less-than-savory sources), which might not be what they want if they’re looking for sports history or team websites.