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June 10, 2010

Google Caffeine

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Yesterday Google announced the release of Google Caffeine as its new indexing infrastructure. Google revealed the plans for a worldwide infrastructure upgrade in August 2009, launching the first public data centre in November 2009 and while users speculated whether Caffeiene was already live around the world Google did not officially confirm the new infrastructure implementation until 9th June 2010.


Google takewaway mug

Photo by renaissancechambara via Creative Commons

What Google Caffeine will allow:

  • Previously the indexing system worked in batch type processes, now a new page can be processed though the entire indexing system almost instantaneously, Google believes the index will be up to 50% fresher, so while crawl rates won’t change, the time it takes from crawl to index will reduce, thus media and real time information will be available to search users almost immediately
  • Allows for the indexing of more pages, i.e. a larger index
  • Gives Google the ability to associate a variety of details with a specific webpage

What it is not:

  • An algorithm change, the search algorithm will remain the same as it was before, the importance of crawling, indexing and ranking factors has not changed
  • Crawl rates will not change from before, just the pages crawled will be indexed quicker

Will it impact my rankings:

  • As results are fresher and faster to index, changes to results may occur. Logically a new page would have a shorter time to get into the rankings, maybe replacing your rankings as a result, but likewise new content you publish would replace that of a competitor in a shorter timeframe as well
  • Google will still need to asses real time relevance. For example, if I have a great page on pregnancy, with lots of good information. Would a newer article recently published get preference? From the information made available, the new article would get indexed quicker, and if it were viewed a large number of times, or received numerous backlinks for good reasons in a short time frame, might get some ranking boost, but all things being equal should not outrank a good page with unique quality content and a number of backlinks already in place
  • In the future, given a variety of details can be associated with a page, these could be included in the algorithm as signals, thus the algorithm may change to take this into account. Say for example engagement objects (image, video), potentially even code such as JavaScript, or per an example from Mat Cutts of Google, a page, associated with different countries, whereas previously it was associated with only a single one

What you should be doing as a result:

  • Run your ranking monitors and monitor your search traffic closely over the next couple of weeks
  • Do not fundamentally change your SEO approach and activity yet
  • Consider the changing content on your site, is there a connect to real time information and how can you leverage this. Some content is more real time than other!
  • Consider how you might facilitate fresher content on your site in areas where users of search would expect to find recent updates etc.
  • Keep on working on website speed optimisation.

Read more on Google Caffeine on the Google Blog:

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