Matt Cutts, Google Quality Engineer has been interviewed by web pro news in which he not only sports his new skin head hair style but inadvertantly shares with us some useful search engine optimisation factors for the upcoming Google Caffeine update. All SEO’s should make a note of to prevent the Google Caffeine update from having a detrimental affect to their sites’ rankings.
In a summary of the Google Caffeine updates Matt states:
“Fundamentally, it’s a rewriting of our indexing system. A good way to think about Caffeine is that it’s essentially rearchitecting or rewriting a large chunk of how we index pages.” The goal of Caffeine has little to do with ranking and more to do with the speed of the Googlebot in terms of crawling, the speed at which pages are indexed, and the speed at which pages are served to the user.
Most Google algorithm changes cause websites to ‘jump’ around a bit before finding a suitable position, this is affectionatley called the ‘Google dance’ but testing versions of Google Caffiene using, in all honesty, doesn’t seem to have done anything. This however may change on the full launch and SEO’s must make sure their clients, and their own sites are prepared or risk valuable SERPs positions.
Matt says there shouldn’t be too much of a difference. Google Caffeine will be will integrated slowly so Google can take user feedback and testing into consideration as the update evolves. Matt claims that Google engineers are moving the update forward quickly, pusuing innovative changes but also making sure they take users into consideration to improve results then it should all be fine in the end.
By changing the infrastructure, Google Caffeine should lay the foundations for future algorithm changes and will also allow for the expansion of website speed and size, possibly even providing a stronger platform for potential real-time and semantic results.
Once Caffeine is fully launched, Google will be able to crawl and index your site very quickly. This means a sitemap is more important than ever, it is like having a contents page or map to your site on your website to help Googlefind every page straight away. I always recommend to clients that they should have an up to date sitemap.xml which should also be submitted to Google Webmaster Tools. You can also use your robots.txt file to direct the Googlebot quickly to your sitemap by adding, Sitemap:http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml to the end of your robots.txt. You should also have a html/php/asp sitemap as well, this will provide a good page for usability as well as adding keyword rich anchor text to internal links reinforcing the structure of the site.
In the interview Matt also hinted to the fact that semantics, tags, rich snippets, real-time data and additional content will now also be included in the indexing and serving of content. With the introduction of real time social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, You Tube etc Google has been left behind in being the most up to date resource for content. For usability webmasters and SEO’s tag content such as videos, images, music, blog posts, Twitter lists, bookmarks, etc. The process of tagging your content using best practice standards help get your content indexed aswell as providing good parameters for site search functions and aiding usability. A tag should include the content’s topic, the category of the topic, and sometimes a subcategory,for example: SEO, Google, Google Caffeine update.
Your ranking shouldn’t change after the update. The way in which most SEO’s work (the reputable ones) won’t have a problem. At SEO Creative we build all of our websites to be accessible to Googlebots and our CMS and Ecommerce platforms offer autonomy over Meta data and tagging so even our clients who don’t do SEO will not be affected. Websites that have a solid site architecture will continue to improve in the Search Engines but it is important to make sure images and file sizes aren’ttoo big to load and the server space is big enough as slow load times will have a bigger effect once Google caffiene is in place.