Google Caffeine Update

Last month Google officially announced that their latest search engine architecture is fully up and running in all of their data centres. The code name for this update is “Caffeine” and Google first mentioned it publically back in August 2009. We also know that one of the data centres went live with Caffeine back in December 2009. Here’s an excerpt from Google’s latest post on the subject:

Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before…With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before—no matter when or where it was published.

We’ve covered the caffeine update previously when it was first announced, including some commentary on how it may impact on SEO.

So what are the main things that a website owner should understand about Google Caffeine?

  • It is now understood that Caffeine is not a change to Google’s ranking algorithm per se, so any changes to where your site comes up for a search are not directly related to the Caffeine update. However, it should be noted that Google is constantly making changes to their ranking algorithms and these other changes can affect your results.
  • The Caffeine changes allow Google to store much more information to enable it to index more of the web than ever before.
  • When you publish new content onto your website, Google’s crawlers will still find the new content at much the same rate as they did before, but now they will be able to incorporate the new content into search results much faster. Your customers should be able to find your new website content faster than ever before!
  • As new content will be indexed more quickly than before, this may result in more volatility of search results compared to the old, more batch oriented updates.

Yes, Caffeine Provides Index Freshness

Within minutes of posting this blog entry, Google has already indexed the main blog page update. This is likely due to a combination of the WordPress auto-ping, as well as Caffeine.

Caffeine index freshness