Caffeine – Google’s New Search Infrastructure

By On 16, Sep, 2009 |  In: Search Engine Optimization |  | 0

In their continuing effort to provide users with the best possible search results, on August 10th, Google announced the launch of their new caffeine (search engine) infrastructure:

“For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google’s web search”

To build a great web search engine, you need to:

1. Crawl a large chunk of the web.
2. Index the resulting pages and compute how reputable those pages are.
3. Rank and return the most relevant pages for users’ queries as quickly as possible.

“It’s the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits ‘under the hood’ of Google’s search engine, which means that most users won’t notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we’re opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback.”

Mike MacDonald from WebProNews discusses Caffeine with Google’s Matt Cutts at about 1:25 into the following video:

SEOBOOK’s Aaron Wall’s Take on Caffeine

* 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

Mashable’s testing of Caffeine concludes:

New Google is FAST: It often doubled the speed of Google classic.

New Google relies more on keywords: SEO professionals, your job just got a lot harder. The algorithm’s definitely different. It has more reliance on keyword strings to produce better results.

Search is moving into real-time: Being able to get info on breaking events is clearly a priority for Google and Bing. With both Twitter and Facebook launching real-time search engines, they needed to respond.

It’s partially a response to Bing: At least, that’s how we feel. This new search has a focus on increasing speed, relevancy, accuracy, and the index volume, things that Microsoft really hit on when it released Bing. It feels as if Google “Caffeine” is meant to shore up any deficiencies it may have when compared to Microsoft’s offering, though it’s been in the works long before Bing launched.

Should you Be Worried About Caffeine?

If you are building your website consistently with unique and valuable content that your visitors are sharing through social media or by linking to it, I wouldn’t be concerned about it. Just keep in mind that it is an ongoing process. If Google is spending the time, money and manpower to “push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy (and) comprehensiveness,” you should be doing the same with your website.

You can check out the differences in search results using Caffeine or compare current Google search results using the Google comparison tool.

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