Google has released a new version of Google which is being called Google Caffeine. Google officially calls this a “next-generation architecture for Google’s web search”. It’s being widely reported that this new version is faster than the older version. For most of us, though, we will not notice an increase in speed.
Because most website owners would be interested, I have compiled a comprehensive list of what appears to have changed in the new Google Caffeine and have made a list. Since Google Caffeine is still rather new, this list is certainly subject to change as we go, so I will do my best to keep it updated as appropriate.
- The new Google Caffeine’s search results URLs are different. Therefore, third party software analytics may be effected. For example, the search results pages now use # in the URL.
- Some people are reporting that Google Caffeine seems to improve Wikipedia results. Personally, I think it depends on the actual search query.
- Some .gov websites got lower rankings for core keywords. A search for “Barack Obama” shows a drastic change: I’m currently not seeing Whitehouse.gov in the top 10 search results on Google Caffeine, yet Whitehouse.gov is 4th for “Barack Obama” in Google.com currently.
- Some are reporting that Google Caffeine is giving more weight to domains with no hyphens in them. Personally, I am not seeing a large emphasis on non-hypenated keyword rich domain names, I’m seeing about the same number of hyphenated versus non-hyphenated domain names in the search results. I think the jury is still out on this one, some are even reporting that “hyphenate-keyword-domains doing exceptionally well- much better on a side-by-side comparison than on mainstream SERPs.
- Google Caffeine seems to like good site structure and/or fast loading websites for top results. I personally think this has been the case all along, that Google rewards websites with a good website structure and sites that are fast loading. I am not convinced (yet) that this is a big change for Google Caffeine.
- I have seen people commenting on the fact that Google Caffeine search results seem to be similar to “allinanchor” search results. I have tested this and I do not think this is the case.
- There are indications that certain filters and “penalties” (if that’s what you want to call them) have not been applied to Google Caffeine.
- Some are reporting the existance of a time stamp under the snippet just in front of the cache link that has been changing every hour. I have been unable to confirm this yet.
- There were initial reports that the Google Caffeine image search results were not that great at all. It appears that Google Caffeine is now using the full, real image search results. I tested this and compared the image results for several searches and they appear to be exactly the same.
- Google may be treating 301 Permanent Redirects differently than they did in the past. This may very well be the case, although I have yet to see any direct evidence of this.
- Search is moving into real-time, with more of an emphasis on real-time search results. Google may have dialed up too much focus on Twitter according to Andy Beal.
- It appears that Google Caffeine is favouring the “authority web sites” even more than before, making them “harder to beat” when it comes to very specific keyword phrases (or the long tail keywords).
- Google Caffeine is indexing more of the web. Upon initial tests, it appears that Google Caffeine is indexing a lot more web pages. This is really only based on a limited number of “site:domain.com” comparisons, I have yet to confirm this. This may be a result of adding more “real time web” to the mix, if Google Caffeine is truly indexing the real time web faster then there will be more web pages added to the index.
Some additional tools that are worth noting:
- Google Caffeine Bookmarklet: http://www.googletutor.com/2009/08/11/google-caffeine-bookmarklet/
- You can search at Google.com and see normal search results and then hit the bookmarklet to see the search results using Google Caffeine.
Compare Google Caffeine and the normal or “old version” of Google: http://www.comparecaffeine.com/