Google's HTTPS Update - Sort Of
by Ethan Glover, Thu, Jun 18, 2015 - (Edited) Sat, Sep 09, 2017
On June 16, Google's algorithm went through some major stormy weather according to the MozCast. 102 degrees and stormy is the biggest shake-up in Moz's history of tracking. As Peter Meyers explained in a Moz blog, it looked as it HTTPS were getting the most benefit out of the stormy weather.
However, this mostly tracked back to Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia is working on moving their site over to HTTPS through a slow, rolling update. Because Wikipedia ranks for more search results than any other site on the internet, it was theorized that it was their results that were affecting everyone else's.
But not all evidence suggested this to be the case.
Search Engine Land later reported that Google stated the update was not for HTTPS or even Panda. Rather, it seems that Google is doing a core update to their algorithm and Wikipedia's updates and results are mere coincidence.
Tomorrow, from 5AM-6AM EST Google will be holding a regular Webmaster Hangout with John Mueller who is sure to get hit with a few questions about what exactly is going on. Thus far, he and Google haven't provided much detail. But, as more is learned, and as more people speculate, greater pressure will be put on them to get the truth out.
In order to contribute to the speculation, here's my wild conspiracy theory.
Google surely knew that Wikipedia was looking to update to HTTPS. If they wanted to throw spammers off their trail, and prevent them from reverse engineering a large update that could potentially reveal a lot of information, why not synchronize with a major update by the biggest ranking site on the web?
Underneath a large shake up by Wikipedia, is a large update by Google that affected everyone else on a much smaller level. ...OK, that's probably not true, but it's fun to create stories right?