Google Gives Web Developers a Shot of Caffeine

This week, Google revealed they have been working on the next generation of web search, code named Caffeine and have invited the public to take it for a test drive via web developer preview.

The new search infrastructure is the beginning of Google’s advance towards improving indexing speed and scale as the size of the web grows increasingly cumbersome. Google is seeking feedback on the changes from experienced users and web developers. From the official blog post:

“It’s the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits “under the hood” of Google’s search engine, which means that most users won’t notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences…”

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard about Caffeine was the Microhoo deal. It seems like too much of a coincidence that Google would allow a public preview of their new search architecture within a week of their two biggest rivals forming a partnership. I thought it was a “Hey, we’re doing more important stuff” kinda announcement.

But Head of Google’s Web Spam Team Matt Cutts insists it has nothing to do with their competition:

“I love competition in search and want lots of it, but this change has been in the works for months. I think the best way for Google to do well in search is to continue what we’ve done for the last decade or so: focus relentlessly on pushing our search quality forward. Nobody cares more about search than Google, and I don’t think we’ll ever stop trying to improve.”

Some bright spark has already set up a page to show you what SERPs look like before / after Caffeine.

What do you think? Is the timing of the Google Caffeine announcement purely coincidence? Notice any major SERP changes using Caffeine? Please post your comment

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