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Need a Caffeine boost? After much anticipation and discussion, Google's latest 'big update' is officially here.
Unlike many major Google updates, which include alterations to the factors Google uses to rank pages, Caffeine instead represents an update to Google's web indexing system. The result: Google says Caffeine "provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index."
Most online publishers already know instinctively that a slow-loading website isn't a good thing. After all, who has the time to browse around a website on which pages take forever to load? Not a lot of people in today's fast-paced world.
Google’s recent move into real-time search has generated a lot noise in the internet industry recently, not least among the SEO professionals.
The search engine is now indexing tweets from Twitter and other status updates from other social media sites, including Myspace and Facebook.
Most of the time real time results are currently displayed on the top half of the page, which is prime real estate, and as such SEOs are keen to understand what makes Google tick.
As reported in November, Google's Matt Cutts indicated that page load time may make its debut as a search ranking factor in 2010.
And now there's a new hint that page load time could become a ranking factor next year: Google has added a new section called Site Performance to Google Webmaster Tools.
Google's algorithm looks at a significant number of ranking factors when it decides where a site should be in the SERPs. These ranking factors, and the weight they're each given, change over time.
Last week at PubCon, Google's Matt Cutts revealed a new ranking factor that may debut in 2010: page load time.
Twitter's deals with Microsoft (Bing) and Google have the blogosphere and Twittersphere abuzz. 'Real-time search' has been a hot topic in 2009 and there has been much speculation on Twitter's strategy vis-à-vis the real-time search opportunity. It appears that we now know what that strategy is: sell firehose access to the Twitter stream to the search engines and let them do what they do best.
The Bing and Google deals could be significant. Depending on what Bing and Google decide to do with their Twitter firehose, internet users could potentially see SERPs that are heavily influenced by Twitter activity, which would mean that SEOs will have to deal with Twitter as a 'ranking factor'. Of course, nobody knows all of the details yet, which is why I thought it would be worthwhile to see what experts and observers are saying about the deals.
The idea that exact-match keyword domain names can be a significant ranking factor is not new. But, for me at least, the significance has always been hard to confirm for a few simple reasons.
First, it's not every day that I acquire an exact-match keyword domain for a popular search phrase. Second, I've never launched a new site on an exact-match keyword domain with the specific goal of seeing what the domain can do on its own. That makes it nearly impossible to isolate the ranking factors that are likely contributing the most to results.
Every two years, SEO consultancy and publisher SEOmoz publishes a Search Engine Ranking Factors report that details which ranking factors some of the world's top SEOs think are hot and not. The latest Search Engine Ranking Factors report was published in August.
I spoke with Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, about the 2009 Ranking Factors report, the dilemma of paid links and how social media is changing SEO.
Thanks to universal search, more product search terms on Google, especially when they include words such as 'buy' or 'cheap' are now returning shopping results, often above the organic results.
In this example for a search for 'buy Sony Vaio' on Google UK shown below, shopping results take the top spot, ahead of those from Sony. With such a prominent position in the SERPS at stake, getting your products listed there is clearly a good idea, so how does Google determine which products appear there?
Tom Critchlow of Distilled provides some excellent tips in a guest post on SEOmoz today, here are some of his suggestions: