It seems like Google has upped its coffee intake - or maybe just updated their web indexing system. A previously discussed topic, Google announced the completion of Caffeine, an improved web search index that "provides 50% fresher results for web searches than our last index."
From Google's Official Blog, "content on the web is blossoming... searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish." Google explains that the "average webpage is richer and more complex," and "people's expectations for search are higher than they used to be." With a generation of users constantly updating Facebook and Tweeting every thought, Google seems to be adjusting to the thirst for real-time information.
Here is Google's explanation on the differences in the old index and Caffeine:
"Our old index had several layers, some of which were refreshed at a faster rate than others; the main layer would update every couple of weeks. To refresh a layer of the old index, we would analyze the entire web, which meant there was a significant delay between when we found a page and made it available to you.
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."
As Charles Arthur, a writer at Guardian.co.uk, points out, "the key difference is that the web index is now not stratified." Google has transitioned to updating chunks of the web at a time on a continuous basis, in fact adding "new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day."
The speed at which Google displays search information has changed - but will this affect SEO? Mr. Arthur points to two sources with opposing views. In an article from Mashable, Caffeine was found to be "much more SEO-heavy," with the article claiming that the algorithm "has more reliance on keyword strings to produce better results."
However, a writer from SearchEngineLand.com explains what Google has explained: "The introduction of Caffeine simply means that once those pages are crawled, they are made available to searchers much more quickly."
For the moment, we will have to wait and monitor the effects of caffeine on website page rank and crawl rate. Whenever an adjustment is made that scrambles a tiered index, there are bound to be learning opportunities in the not-too-distant future for SEO specialists working hard at pushing their respective pages to the top of Google's search.
Until Next Time -