{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

When Google updates, SEOs around the world hold their breath. For websites that rely heavily on their Google SERPs for traffic, an algorithm change can sometimes mean the difference between profitability and the poorhouse.

Google's newest update, named Caffeine, is by all appearances more than just a regular update. Google describes it as a "next-generation architecture for Google's web search".

According to a post yesterday on Google's Webmaster Central blog, Caffeine represents "the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions".

Fortunately for SEOs and webmasters, Google is breaking with tradition and is soliciting feedback from the webmaster community by opening up a preview of the Caffeine update, which can be accessed at http://www2.sandbox.google.com/.

As you can see, there aren't many noticeable changes to the UI. In fact, you probably won't notice much difference at all. According to Google's Matt Cutts, "this update is primarily under the hood" and has involved "rewriting the foundation of some of our infrastructure".

And yes, that means that there will be some changes in site rankings. From my limited initial tests, the impact on rankings seems subtle -- most of the time.

One exception appears to be social web results. For instance, certain high-profile Facebook Pages appear to be receiving a major boost in the rankings with Caffeine. One commenter on the Google Webmaster Central blog also noted "I've noticed more Twitter pages in the results with this version of Google".

When it comes to the latter, Starbucks serves as a good example: through a US proxy, Starbucks' Twitter account appears fifth on the first page in the current Google SERPs; it appears third in the Caffeine preview. While this is a minor shift, I've seen significant shifts with several Facebook Pages, leading me to believe that Google is not only placing increasing emphasis on pages in the social web but is getting better at sorting out which social web results are 'the real deal' and which are spam.

If this proves to be the case across the board, it will be more reason for some to consider the social media SEO link.

Are you noticing any important or interesting changes? Be sure leave comments with your observations. I'd love to hear them!

Photo credit: carrinated via Flickr.

Patricio Robles

Published 11 August, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2402 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

CoolerDesigns

Apparently Google is trying to achieve some sort of a levarage to Facebook's acquisition of FriendFeed on one hand and Microsoft's merger with Yahoo! on the other hand.

I've tested the SandBox myself, and saw minor changes in the SERPs as well.

And "Yes", unfortunately for all of us SEOs, there are significantly more results from Social Media then we anticipated initially.

We're only hoping that our job won't become totally inessential to the Web world.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Alphonse Ha

It only makes sense that Google (finally) gives more importance to social media in their search results. Social Media is too big to be ignored and we all know that there are a lot of relevant content on Social Media platforms. 

This is great news for Social Media Marketing! :D

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Frank@Doubleshot

comparegoogle.com has been helpful in finding difference in search results for the two algorithms. Just put in some keywords and see what changed. Could be helpful for SEO engineers.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

thinkflex

I guess it largely depends on the search term - I haven't noticed significant search media shifts for the terms I checked.

Frank: comparegoogle seems to be non-existent.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Mon

Excellent peice. I am interested in seeing how often the index updates once it's live. 

Exciting times to be an SEO!

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Pat Strader

Little late to this conversation, but great post. This will obviously be very interesting to watch play out. Appears, just on a few random terms I have been throwing into the sandbox, that the "social score" in the algorightm (which Bill Slawski blogged about) is in play.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Andy

I came onto this fairly late and only found out about it today. Is there an implementation date for the new algorithm?

I bet there is a load of twitchy retail site owners hoping it won't happen before the big Xmas online shopping push - not a plug, we are not a merchant! :-)

I think the fact that Google's web-devs are engaging with online communities to get feedback is an interesting and much appreciated move.

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Steak Seasoning

We see some changes in our branding in the restaurant design and window industry. Can't wait to see go into effect, anyone heard of when that will take place?

almost 7 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.