Yesterday Google announced the completion of their new index Caffeine. What’s Caffeine? I hear you ask. Coffee? No, its the “code” name for Google’s latest major search engine algorithm update.
So what’s new with Caffeine?
Google’s new index, Caffeine, provides 50% fresher results for web searches than the previous index, and also claims to be the largest collection of web content Google have ever offered. Now, whether it’s a up-to-the-minute news story, a blog or a forum post, you will now be able to find links to relevant content quicker than was possible before. – This means quicker indexing of webpages and more up-to-date relevant search results for everybody. – I predict this post will be indexed in under 5 minutes.
What were the reasons for the new index?
Google are very conscious of how rapidly the content on the web is growing and how diverse it has become. Content is no longer textually dominated, it now consists more of video, images, news and real-time updates such as twitter and other social media updates. As a result, the average webpage is richer and more complex. From a user’s point of view, this results in an higher expectation for Search Engine Results than ever before.
Google Caffeine Vs Old Index
The old Google index worked on the basis of layers, where some of the content were refreshed at a faster rate than others, I.e. High Authority sites Layer, Video Layer, News Layer, Images Layer….. To refresh a layer of the old index, Google would need crawl & analyse the entire web which meant a significant delay in delivery of results.
With Google Caffeine, they analyse the web in much smaller portions and update the search index on a continual basis. As Google finds new pages they send these straight to the index. In terms of ranking these NEW results, it is most likely that the “reputation” system Google uses quickly assesses the new content’s importance in relation to competing websites. Where Caffeine really changes things is here; if your website is updated more frequently than others you in theory stand a better chance of ranking above content that has not been updated for while. But obviously, there are still additional factors that determine where a site will rank.
What’s amazing about Caffeine?
Every second Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel. If this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second. Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database and adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day. You would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information; if these were stacked end-to-end they would go for more than 40 miles.
What should businesses & webmasters be doing?
In my opinion, and this is solely my opinion, website owners should not only be worried about the quality and relevance of their content but now the rate at which it is refreshed. A frequently updated website is seen as more “maintained”, and thus attracts a higher “rep” score. Think about ways you can keep your content continuously or frequently refreshed, there’s some great un-tapped resources out there, honest!