Internet Marketing August 12th, 2009
Google has unveiled an next generation version of its search engine being coined as ‘Caffeine’ for public testing. Good timing in combatting the unified challenge posed by Yahoo ! and Bing, Google is framing a new version of its search engine that returns faster and more relevant results. For the first time Google revealed this “Next-generation Architecture for Google’s Web search” on its blog this week, when it asked web developers to preview it for collecting feedback by comparing results from the new search engine with its current version. The blog post published late Monday, Google Inc. announced the new engine, code-named "Caffeine," will be faster, more accurate and more comprehensive with new advanced dimensions. Users can preview the new engine at a the following link: http://www2.sandbox.google.com/
The user can choose their country specific language by altering query parameters manually in this URL.
To quote from their official Webmaster blog :
“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. 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”.
With this new search engine ‘algo’ Google has engineered a realignment of its already existing computing network that connects searchers and results. ‘Caffeine’ is keyword-based and the results are more relevant. Indeed it does feel faster, 0.2 seconds is all it takes to display search results, two times faster than the previous version. It also displays more search results than the earlier one. This lends itself well to the greatly improved search index. All things considered the small tweaks made cosmetically seem quite impressive.
Most of the changes being done, as described by Google, are done ‘under the hood’. In other words they are changes done to improve the overall search experience but are not necessarily cosmetic.
Essentially, the new engine acts the same way as the existing one but ranks results just a bit differently, which could affect business quite significantly. By unveiling ‘Caffeine’, Google is showing us all its commitment to the continual improvement of the search index that so many of us have grown to depend on. Based upon early observations we have noticed that search patterns will place listings in slightly different positions then at present. With most of our searches however, the change was only within a few positions of the current search engine.
This will have a slight effect on many businesses so make sure you check your own positioning. (or make sure you have an SEO company that is especially interested in innovation! Ahem!)
The timing of the testing announcement is significant as it comes just two weeks after the Bing-Yahoo deal. This will help defer much of the attention that transaction has gotten.
At first look ‘Caffeine’ seems like an improvement on the current Google – at least the small cosmetic changes and fast indexing are things we like! Stay tuned as many of us TechWysians are currently testing the new ‘algo’ and will be delivering our own analysis on how we feel about the search index quality.
One thing we will give to Google that we haven’t historically seen with their rival Microsoft is this – Google seems to understand that they can’t sit on their current market share. They seem to be constantly innovating and improving which makes it very difficult for the smaller players to catch up.