What is Google’s new search engine technology?
Google’s ubiquitous search engine, a feature of the Internet that many businesses depend on for revenue, is getting a bit of a makeover. Or, to put it more plainly, a shot of caffeine. In a major announcement late last week, Google decided to show the world a bit of the “next gen” search functions it has been hard at work on for the past few months.
Soon we’ll have a web preview of the new search system and design, known in the industry as “Caffeine”. Google said the new code will help the company “push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.”
Why would Google make a move like this? If you’ve been reading the AskDeb blog this summer, you know we’ve been closely following the “search engine wars” — Google’s strong lead is now challenged by the beginnings of an intertwined relationship between Microsoft and Yahoo, a courtship that is growing stronger by the day. Google, the giant in the world of Internet queries, has decided to revamp its most basic component, the web search.
What will be different about Google searches? According to Google, most people won’t notice any changes. Apparently, the new “caffeine” shot will be a mostly “under the hood” upgrade. Even so, Google realized they just have to do something to whet the appetites of curious web developers and Google search fanatics — Google’s decided to release a kind of preview of the system, partially to respond to their fan’s demands, partially to get some feedback before they go live with Caffeine.
The user interface will stay the same. In fact, Google could implement Caffeine this instant and you wouldn’t notice a difference, unless of course your web business depends on Google for traffic. Those types of businesses may be the hardest hit by the new system.
Google has been quick to squash the idea that it is administering this high dose of Caffeine in order to “keep up with the Joneses”. Emphasizing that Caffeine is “the next generation” in search engine tech, Google reps have been careful to avoid saying the words “Microsoft” or “Yahoo”.
The biggest difference that users will see with Caffeine is that the implementation of the new technology could change how your Internet-based company ranks in Google search results. There are many businesses that quite literally live and die based on Google generated traffic, making the switch from decaf a pretty big deal.
Google’s billiant suggestion for companies wondering how to deal with the Caffeine rush is for them to “change their search engine optimization to protect their Google ranking.” Because you hadn’t thought of that yet.
The question on many web developer’s minds — will Caffeine will be more or less responsive to the actions of search engine optimization experts? How will Caffeine affect a business’ chances of landing on the coveted first page of Google results for keyword searches? Also, when should web developers react? This very instant is certainly too early to alter your SEO tactics, but you don’t want to wait too long and lose crucial time at the top of your client’s searches.
A few more choice quotes from Google that are making the rounds this morning:
“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,” two engineers wrote in the company’s official blog.
“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.”
“Right now, we only want feedback on the differences between Google’s current search results and our new system. We’re also interested in higher-level feedback (‘These types of sites seem to rank better or worse in the new system’) in addition to ‘This specific site should or shouldn’t rank for this query.’ Engineers will be reading the feedback, but we won’t have the cycles to send replies.”
If you want to participate in the revisions made to Caffeine and the new Google search engine, check out the test of Caffeine at http://www2.sandbox.google.com
To give Google the feedback they’re look for, perform a search using the Caffeine test site. Directly on the search results page there is a link (at the bottom of the page) that reads “Dissatisfied? Help us improve.” When you click on that link, you’ll have the option of typing your feedback directly into a text box. Make sure you use the word “Caffeine” somewhere in the post to highlight that your feedback is directly related to the revamp.