Google is developing a new search engine nicknamed “Caffeine” to make searches even more relevant and to keep its leadership in internet related searches. More about this can be found on the Google Webmaster Central Blog. If you want to try the new version of the search engine on steroids caffeine, you can take it for a test ride here: Google Caffeine Search Engine. If you want to give Google feedback, you can do this at the bottom of the search result page, just click “Dissatisfied? Help us improve”, type in your comment and make sure to include the keyword “caffeine” in the same comment.
Google is updating its search engine continuously, so what is the big deal, and why is it important for bloggers and internet marketers?
Google states that “The new infrastructure sits “under the hood” of Google’s search engine, which means that most users won’t notice any difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences,…” That means, that the user interface will not change, or at least not dramatically, but that the underlying search algorithm will – dramatically.
John Chow writes in his short caffeine review “it shows what types of SEO are truly long term and beneficial, and what practices to avoid.” That is all what it is about. Google is implementing more and more ways to keep spammy sites from appearing high in the SERPs and is working hard to improve the search experience for the everyday internet user.
I did some basic research, comparing the results between the present Google and the caffeinated Google version, and have come to a few, premature, conclusions:
- Older sites seem to be slightly preferred by Google Caffeine.
- Google Caffeine shows, in general, more search results than the current Google version, indicating, perhaps, that Google is already re-directing resources towards the new search engine.
- Results on the first few pages seem to be a bit more accurate.
- Google Caffeine is faster, by milliseconds ;-), than the current Google version.
- New, “more results from this domain” menu in a vertical drop-down menu. For major sites, such as Wikipedia, a search box is displayed on the results page, allowing you to search inside the search, neat!
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of the Anti-Spam Ninjas writes on his blog:
“… the half-life of code at Google is about six months. That means that you can write some code and when you circle back around in six months, about half of that code has been replaced with better abstractions or cleaner infrastructure. Six months is an exaggeration, but Google is quite serious about scrutinizing our codebase regularly and rewriting the parts that don’t scale well to make them more robust, more elegant, or faster.”
So it seems that continuous updates to the search algorithm will play a major part in Google’s future. Nothing really new in that, just confirming what we already knew. Google wants good content on the top and bad on the bottom or completely left out of the index.
There is a video interview available, where Matt Cutts, newly bald because he lost a bet, speaks about the caffeinated update. Link to video interview.
He explains that the new Google update is a major one. The ultimate goal is to display faster, more relevant search results in real-time, that favor vertical searches. This, together with the recent presentation of Google Wave, shows Google’s will to move towards the so-called “real-time web”.
Summary and a few more bits of information
Google Caffeine is here to stay, either in the present or in an improved form. That makes it incredible important for webmasters to check NOW how their sites would perform when Google Caffeine would be the main search engine algorithm. By showing it to the public and encouraging the use of it, Google gives those webmasters that listen, a head start to improve their web sites BEFORE the big change takes place. Just remember, Google is not good with privacy. If you don’t want to have your searches connected to your Google account, remember to log out first and then to search!
How to meet Matt Cutts
In case you are in the USA, you might be interested about this bit of information Matt Cutts has just released on his blog:
“If you want to give me feedback in person, I’ll be at Search Engine Strategies San Jose this week. I’m doing a site review panel on Thursday, or just walk up and say hello!”
If anybody makes it to the event, say hello for me to Matt 😉
So what do you think of this new development in the search engine landscape? How do you think it will affect your sites or blogs?
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