The Google Caffeine changes have been rumoured for months, with every SEO anticipating its launch this month. However, it seems we are still waiting for general release!
Since spring 2009 Google have been teasing us with the Google Caffeine update, and in August released a preview in a sandbox environment to play with and test;
For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google’s web search. It’s the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits “under the hood” of Google’s search engine, which means that most users won’t notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we’re opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback.
Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s web spam team, has been speaking about some of the things we should expect when the Google Caffeine update kicks in, but also assured us that it would not be released until after Christmas. However, in late November we saw the Google Caffeine update released in one data center.
Now we are in the New Year and many sites have seen significant changes in rankings, some people are blaming the Caffeine update but from the evidence very few seem to be actually Google Caffeine related.
Many of the changes seem to be attributed to a simultaneous Page Rank and SERP update, this rarely happens and has shaken up many webmasters as they have seen sites jump up and down in Google’s results pages on an hourly basis, however other webmasters have seen no change at all. It seems new spiders are crawling sites, this does not mean Google Caffeine is live, but more likely they are getting their databases ready for the change.
If your site is fluctuating, this could mean any number of things, Google are personalising search results based on your computer and ip, not just if you are signed into a Google account. They are updating their databases and also seem to be staggering the Caffeine release from different data centres.
Google have claimed that Caffeine is still not live, but from various webmaster forums and discussions we suspicions have arisen that it has been released at the following data centres:
It is now an exciting time for SEO, where many people are cursing Google for making their job harder, its not clear how all these changes will affect the user, and websites, and if Google get it wrong, Bing are ready to step in the void.
I personally think that the next weeks and months will show an improvement as spammy websites get cleared out, as well as under performing sites, but if Google get it wrong sites that deserve to be found could get lost amongst auto generated pages and spammy sites.
At the end of the day, it is the user that will decide and respond to these changes, many users may not even notice, but if they feel they aren’t getting the right results they will move to other search engines or ways to find good sites. It may be that SEO need to focus more on Bing, or Social Media could become a popular referrer, as an Internet marketing company SEO Creative are ready to make sure our clients websites do well from traffic and sales rather than just getting to number one in Google.