Testing Google Caffeine
According to various sources, including the Google Webmaster blog, this week Google began testing a new architecture for their web search function.
Although not yet confirmed, it appears that the Caffeine index will provide a new search infrastructure, effectively replacing the existing methods that Google uses.
Caffeine – A New Search Index For Google
Based on the blog post announcing it, and subsequent user comments, the new infrastructure appears to include ways of crawling the internet more comprehensively, and determining reputation and authority to deliver more relevant results more quickly, although Google has stated that the primary differences will lie in the way that websites are indexed.
In addition, there do not appear to be any cosmetic or user interface changes associated with the new search index, since the changes are based entirely in the infrastructure. However, testing suggests that the user interface has been affected slightly by the new index, primarily in the way in which results are displayed.
This is largely noticeable in the location of image, news and video results on the search results page. For example, it appears that the new infrastructure returns video and news results midway down the page, and images at the bottom, compared to the existing infrastructure which tended to return them at the top of the page.
We’re expecting much speculation about optimising according to the new search infrastructure, but it’s likely that this merely represents an improvement on the existing ways that Google searches, and as such, a search engine friendly site design and structure, and relevant, quality content, remain the foundation of successful optimisation.