The SEO industry faces even more changes in Google results in the not too distant future as Google announced a “secret project” this week which they have been working on aimed at pushing the envelope with respect to “size (of index), indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions”. The Google Caffeine update was announced on the Google Webmaster Blog on Monday with Google taking a pro-community approach and releasing the changes in a sandbox environment so SEO’s and website owners can preview the changes and see what impact they are likely to have. This is a breath of fresh air for search marketing professionals as it is a long way from the usual challenge of waking up one day to find the SERPs completely different to when you went to bed.
Google has asked that in return for access to the sandbox environment, users feedback on differences in the current results and the caffeinated results. The important word in this is I suppose “differences” and this is highlighted bold in the release. Google isn’t going to be interested in the positives or negatives of the results as this is subjective, just the differences so it can make its own mind up.
It is reasonably safe to assume that by “speed improvements” Google is indicating the caffeine update will improve the speed at which breaking news and information is indexed. Real time search is a hot topic in SEO at present and twitter has stolen a march on the search engines when it comes to breaking news stories due to its real time nature. Google, Bing and Yahoo are going to have to find ways to combat this and ensure breaking stories are available as quickly as possible if they are to keep up with social utilities when it comes to real time information.
If you want to compare results between the current index and the caffeinated version fellow Latitude employee Rob Watts has produced a handy tool for assessing the impact Google Caffeine will have on the SERPs.