Google To Begin Rolling Out Caffeine Update
It appears that the effects of Google's Caffeine update may be felt sooner rather than later. That is if you really do feel the effects at all.
If you are unfamiliar with Caffeine, it is an algorithm update that Google announced in the summer. Upon the announcement, Google's Matt Cutts said, "The Caffeine update isn't about making some UI changes here or there. Currently, even power users won't notice much of a difference at all. This update is primarily under the hood: we're rewriting the foundation of some of our infrastructure." Cutts told WebProNews about Caffeine in the following interview:
When Caffeine was introduced, so was a sandbox, where people could play around with Caffeine based search results, and get a look at how rankings were altered (if at all), and try to get a feel for how it was going to go. Now that sandbox has closed up shop, it looks like the Caffeine update will be live in Google search before too long. It will start after the holidays at least though.
"I know that webmasters can get anxious around this time of year, so I wanted to reassure site owners that the full Caffeine roll out will happen after the holidays," says Cutts on his blog. "Caffeine will go live at one data center so that we can continue to collect data and improve the technology, but I don’t expect Caffeine to go live at additional data centers until after the holidays are over. Most searchers wouldn’t immediately notice any changes with Caffeine, but going slowly not only gives us time to collect feedback and improve, but will also minimize the stress on webmasters during the holidays."
We appreciate all the feedback from people who searched on our Caffeine sandbox.
Based on the success we've seen, we believe Caffeine is ready for a larger audience. Soon we will activate Caffeine more widely, beginning with one data center. This sandbox is no longer necessary and has been retired, but we appreciate the testing and positive input that webmasters and publishers have given.
Of course as people tested Caffeine via the sandbox, many of them blogged about their results and findings. The general consensus seemed to be that Caffeine is fast and utilizes real-time search a great deal. Given Google's frequent announcements related to speed, and a recently announced deal with Twitter, speed and real-time search seem like logical updates to Google search results.
When SEOBook's Aaron Wall tested Caffeine, he said he thought there was:
- an increased weighting on domain authority & some authoritative tag type pages ranking (like Technorati tag pages + Facebook tag pages), as well as pages on sites like Scribd ranking for some long tail queries based mostly on domain authority and sorta spammy on page text
- perhaps slightly more weight on exact match domain names
- perhaps a bit better understanding of related words / synonyms
- tuning down some of the exposure for video & some universal search results
This stuff should not necessarily be taken as gospel. These are just the results and speculations of individuals from tests of a product that was only introduced (for testing purposes), let alone finalized. It is what it is.
As the Caffeine update rolls out, there will no doubt be more and more mystery unraveled as search industry professionals scramble to stay ahead of the game, and Google drops subtle hints from time to time. It's going to be interesting to see where Caffeine takes the world's most popular search engine.
Have you tested Caffeine? What do you think about the update? Share your findings here.
About the Author: Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Twitter: @CCrum237