Caffeine Update – What does this mean?

I wrote a post about caffeine and when it was coming back in February. We were supposed to have seen it last December but Google added a new post on their blog this week – that Google caffeine had gone live.

What is Caffeine?

According to Google “it is a new web indexing system. Caffeine provides 50% fresher results for web searches compared to the old index”. Which means, the user can find information much sooner after it has been published than before.

A few more facts about Caffeine as quoted by Google:

  • “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 did the old algorithm look like before?

    Google doesn’t really give too much away about how their algorithm works, but here is a diagram outlining the index before and after Caffeine.

    Google's old index vs Caffeine

    Why did Google build Caffeine?
    To keep up to date with universal search, real time updates. People want to find the latest information as soon as it is published. The old index had different layers which were refreshed at different speeds.

    How will it affect natural search?
    Google indexes newer content more frequently which means fresher content will be indexed on Google quicker and appear higher in the search results.
    It also means that content on sites will be indexed quicker as there is no index cycle – where website owners had to wait in a queue for Google to index their site.

    What changes do website owners need to do?

    Make sure you have fresh content on your website and everytime you build a new page, make sure it is optimised for seo.
    Caffeine just emphasises how important it is for websites to not rely on just one traffic referral method. For example some sites may just rely on traffic via search engines, others may rely on back links. Instead, they need to use an overall online marketing strategy which includes online pr, social media, seo and ppc. There is a lot of competition in the search market and therefore sites need to make sure there is a lot of buzz about their brand.

    Google Caffeine is live, you probably will not have noticed too many changes as the updates have been silently filtering through these past few months and now Google are saying the final version of Caffeine is complete.

    I will post any new updates about Caffeine on this blog, so come back for more news.

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