Google's new Caffeine search engine does realtime search better

The rules for SEO will change and change big

All eyes are once again on Google and a new project to improve its search engine dubbed Caffeine. Caffeine is intended to improve the size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions (such as page reputation assessments) of Google's already best-of-breed search engine. While most users of the site won't notice speed improvements with the naked eye, search results are returned about twice as fast, Google says. And reviewers say the search results have more depth, and with greater accuracy. Not bad, Google, not bad at all.

You can test the new search engine yourself here

Here's what others are saying.

After conducting several tests on the new engine and comparing metrics against the current engine and Bing, Mashable concludes that Caffeine is faster, covers realtime entries (like Twitter and Facebook posts) better and is a punch right-back-at-ya to Bing.

"While this test was nowhere near scientific, we do have some solid takeaways:

"New Google is FAST: It often doubled the speed of Google classic.

"New Google relies more on keywords: SEO professionals, your job just got a lot harder. The algorithm’s definitely different. It has more reliance on keyword strings to produce better results.

"Search is moving into real-time: Being able to get info on breaking events is clearly a priority for Google and Bing. With both Twitterand Facebook launching real-time search engines, they needed to respond.

"It’s partially a response to Bing: At least, that’s how we feel. This new search has a focus on increasing speed, relevancy, accuracy, and the index volume, things that Microsoft really hit on when it released Bing. It feels as if Google “Caffeine” is meant to shore up any deficiencies it may have when compared to Microsoft’s offering, though it’s been in the works long before Bing launched."

The SEO blog, Marketing Pilgram was less enthused. Yes, Caffeine is faster but its emphasis on realtime results is sacrificing relevance, blogger Andy Beal says.

"I love using Twitter, but is it really the 2nd most relevant result for a search for my name? Relevant enough that it displays not only my Twitter profile, but that of another "Andy Beal?" I don’t think so. It’s almost as if, in Google’s attempts to include more social media "real time" results, it turned the dial to 11, when 7 would have worked just fine.

"Another clue that Caffeine is focused on speed–perhaps at the sacrifice of relevancy–is there appears to be more "Similar" only and less "Cached" results. What’s that you ask? Well, when Google wants to get new results populating in its index, it often does so, even before it fully gets to cache/index the page. A search for the very recently passed away Eunice Kennedy Shriver, reveals twice as many results without a "cache" as the normal Google index. In fact, 3 out of the top 5 results had no cache!"

SEO expert David Naylor notes that another new thing with Caffeine is that Google is asking folks to send feedback on the engine as they test it.

"It’s a pretty interesting move, however you slice it though: soliciting direct feedback from users before changes are made is something I can’t recall Google embarking on before. Given that future SERPs are likely to make more use of personalised results and usage stats, I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing."

Google Feedback page

A lot of commentators agree with Mashable's viewpoint and say that Caffeine is a reaction to Microsoft Bing. But that given that Bing has yet to prove itself to be a significant threat to Google, I'm going to side with the reporters and bloggers who say that Bing has nothing to do with Caffeine. The fact is, Google wants to best itself. Google also knows that in order to maintain a dominant search engine position, while indexing ever more items on the Internet, it needs to keep investing in its core technology, the search engine. Caffeine looks like a step in the right direction.

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