Google announced they have a “next-generation architecture for Google’s web search” and want you give your feedback. They’re calling it the Google Caffeine Update and it will impact how sites rank in the search engines.
Basically, they’ve been tweaking and modifying the algorithm that ranks sites; if you’re involved in any kind of marketing that uses search engine optimization to drive traffic to your site, you should be paying attention to the changes Google Caffeine could bring to your rankings.
Watch The Social Media Slap video for more information on how Google algorithm changes can effect your ranking.
WHERE IS GOOGLE CAFFEINE?
To test the Google Caffeine Update, go to and enter your search terms. You may or not notice a difference in results from the regular Google homepage. Any results you do notice are indicative of the changes that Caffeine has implements.
WHAT CHANGES DOES GOOGLE CAFFEINE BRING?
- Google Caffeine is faster. I never really thought the “old” Google was slow!
- The index size – that is, the number of pages that are returned when one does a search, is typically much larger.
- Universal search results – when image or video search are embedded in the regular results listings – are less prevalent. Some suggest this is due to the Caffeine update still being in beta and Universal Search will be introduced later, but that remains to be seen.
- Real time information (Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook) seem to rank higher than previously. This could indicate that Google feels searches want to most recent (and relevant) results rather than older information, and could also be a reaction to the ever-growing numbers of people joining and publishing content on social media sites.
- Google Caffeine seems to index more individual pages on sites than “old” Google (when running the “site:” command) in some searches, less in other searches.
What do the experts say?
“Google Caffeine Test Suggests Too Much Emphasis on Real-Time Indexing” -Andy Beal
“…my guess is that it likely does what Google search does, but better. And the foundational elements of having a crawlable infrastructure and compelling content remain.” -Vanessa Fox
“We’ve been shooting to get them [the results] pretty close [to "old" Google], so most people won’t notice a difference.” -Matt Cutts video interview
GOOGLE CAFFEINE TOOLS
- Google Caffeine Bookmarklet
- Compare Caffeine results with regular Google results side-by-side
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR GOOGLE CAFFEINE?
The Google Caffeine update will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months. What do you need to do now to prepare for it?
Of course, SEO’s will continue testing, tracking and reporting on changes they see in the algorithm. But as many have mentioned – the results aren’t all that different (yet).
Your best bet to maintain your rank as the Google Caffeine update rolls out is to simply keep doing what you should be doing anyway – putting out good content with an eye towards low-competition, trafficked keywords.
Since there does seem to be a lot of emphasis in the Search world overall on “real time” and social media results I’d also suggest you maintain accounts at Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc. (Yes, I know Facebook bought FriendFeed, but it’s still there and tends to rank well) – just in case those kinds of results become even more prominent than they are now.
And most of all? Don’t panic!
photo credit: Yodel Anecdotal
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