Earlier this week Google announced their new search platform codenamed “Caffeine”. Caffeine is the biggest infrastructure update to Google’s search engine in about 3 years, which is why I thought it was necessary to share this news with you. Right now Google has set-up a Web Developer preview to test this new platform and receive constructive feedback.
It is not surprising that Google announced Caffeine right now, due to the recent announcements of Microsoft and Yahoo as well as Facebook and FriendFeed. Although Matt Cutts states Google has been developing this platform for months, I suspect that these recent announcements gave them an extra push to announce Caffeine at this time. The announcement, in my opinion, is Google’s way of declaring that they will remain the top search engine.
The Google Sandbox (where you can try out Caffeine) is currently down, which makes it difficult to draw my own conclusions, but I will briefly go over what Caffeine is and how it could potentially affect your business.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is described as “the next generation architecture for Google web search.” Caffeine is a new search platform that Google plans to launch in the near future. The new version will not affect the appearance of Google, since the changes are being made “under the hood.”
How is the Caffeine different than the “old” Google?
According to Google, “Caffeine is the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.”
In other words, they are expanding on their existing platform to produce faster and more accurate results. Caffeine also seems capable of delivering real time search results. The everyday person may not notice much of a difference, but those who specialize in SEO or online business could notice some changes.
Who should care about Google Caffeine?
If you are an SEO or an online business that relies heavily on organic search then you should care about Caffeine because it could potentially result in lower page rankings and require you to change your SEO. It is important for all SEOs to be aware of the new search, since it is not crystal clear what changes will occur when it officially launches. Most likely Caffeine will affect SEO’s that sell “quick fixes” to give their clients higher page rankings on Google. If your site frequently has unique content, applies relevant internal links and applies best SEO practices then Caffeine might actually work in your favor and deliver better results.
Is Caffeine actually better than the “old” Google?
Since I was unable to preview Caffeine for myself, I highlighted the most common themes covered by most SEO experts. At first glance Caffeine does not appear to look much different than the original. In order to see the actually difference, you really have to analyze both searches.
Overall SEOs agree that Caffeine;
- Runs faster than the original
- Relies more on keyword strings to deliver more accurate results
- Is moving into real-time to deliver breaking news faster, Caffeine does a better job of including recent events
- Displays rankings in the same order as the old version, but that could change when Caffeine is officially launched to the public
So, what is the future of Caffeine?
After Caffeine is reviewed by the public and tweaked to perfection, Google will launch it officially. When it will be launched is unknown, but I would say Google is going to push to have it released as soon as possible.
Some believe that since Google is allowing SEOs and Web Developers to test Caffeine, it sends out a message that their algorithm might change. At this point that is merely speculation. It is difficult to say exactly what will happen once Caffeine is officially launched. I plan to test Caffeine myself and draw my own conclusions, but for now I felt it was necessary share the information I’ve found and shed some light on the subject.