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Conclusions on Google Caffeine (New Search)

By Loyan Roylance     Wednesday, September 16, 2009     google, caffeine, search, seo, serp
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Corvallis on Google Caffeine

Corvallis on Google Caffeine

If you haven't heard, Google has been working on a the next generation of their web search dubbed Google Caffeine. For the past month web professionals have been trying to figure out what impact this will have on the all powerful Google search engine rankings. After researching information from Google and independent sources my personal conclusion is:

Google Caffeine does not drastically change the search engine ranking placement. You may be thinking but I was #1 and now I am #3. OK, that is clearly a change. But when the index size is a million results I consider a significant change to move from #1 to #15. Generally, first page results remain first page results. I believe Caffeine in its current state is the foundation for Google to implement future changes to the algorithm. There are changes I think are happening now. It appears that Google is paying attention to time relevancy. A comparison of results for "Loyan" is a demonstration of that. In general, YouTube video results are moving up, noticeably into the first page of results where they did not appear before. 

I know you are dying to to do some vanity searches for yourself and your company (its what I did right away). Here are two places you can do that. Go on, the rest of this post will wait here for you.

Mashable, SEO Book, and Google itself are some of my favorite resources for information on website best practices and SEO. In all, these sources didn't give me the impression that the changes were very significant at this point. Stan Schroeder of says, "As far as the results go, the changes still seem rather subtle, but one has to admit that [the current] Google Search is functioning quite well as it is, so it's hard to expect dramatic improvements in this area." Google itself even tells us that they will roll out changes to the algorithm over time, just like they always have.

Some sources I found useful:

The best source I found came from where they reported on an analysis of 40 retail keywords by a digital marketing agency called 360i. I really like tests like these. They compared the results of:

  • 10 major retail brand names (keywords)
  • 10 retail head terms (single keywords)
  • 10 retail torso terms (two-word phrases)
  • 10 retail long-tail phrases (four-word phrases)

Their resulting conclusions were:

  • Domains and rankings will fluctuate.
  • The index size of single keyword search relevance will increase, meaning more competition.
  • Long-tail becomes more relevant.
  • Caffeine is faster. You'll get results (SERPs) in half the time, on average.
  • Universal (aka Blended) results will increase
  • Social media listings will increase, primarily due to a lift in YouTube listings.

How do your search comparisons look? How did it affect your personal or business results?  What theories or conclusions can you make from your your own observations?  

(Thank you to Katherine Cleland for inspiring me to investigate Google Caffeine.)

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9 memorable comments for "Conclusions on Google Caffeine (New Search)"

  1. Posted 9/16/2009 10:13:23 AM

    Great post Loyan. My vanity search showed that social media things seem to have bumped up a bit (twitter, linkedIn especially)

  2. Posted 9/16/2009 1:10:49 PM

    Twitter has been performing well for a while. I also made a note of LinkedIn showing up better than I have seen previous. It is consistant with a higher value on time relevant or fresh content.

  3. Posted 9/16/2009 1:21:55 PM

    Google, the single most powerful search engine in the universe, never ceases to amaze me. They are constantly coming up with more innovative ways to make cyberspace better, faster, more acccurate. From the fast flip to the Google's like there's something new every week or so. Do those guys and gals in the Google labs every sleep?

  4. Posted 9/16/2009 1:50:46 PM

    So how did BING rise to the top of the search engines sending internet traffic my way so quickly? Are they just using more "robots" (for lack of a more educated term) to be out there forming new methods of searching? I haven't talked to very many people who have used Bing at all, or if they have, just once... Cynthia

  5. Posted 9/16/2009 3:55:18 PM

    @Roschelle Thank you for your comment. Google has a great culture of innovation. I think the mojo they have going on permeates outside of just their labs. A great example for all of us. @Cynthia Take a look at Even in just the last 3 months I don't see Bing sending traffic your way. I am interested in exploring this with you though. Feel free to email me at [email protected]

  6. Posted 9/21/2009 10:28:36 AM

    [...] If theres anything else you’d like to know theres a great post about the changes here [...]

  7. Posted 4/21/2010 8:30:05 AM

    Good post Loyan. Great and thorough references. I'm not sure that we've seen all that Caffeine will bring us. Jim Adams - CEO New Homes Directory .com

  8. Posted 4/21/2010 12:11:11 PM

    Your welcome Jim. I think you are right. The biggest impact of Caffeine are yet to be seen. I think Google just laid a new foundation for some of the really cool stuff to be built on in the (near?) future.

  9. Posted 5/3/2010 9:13:58 AM

    I have a hunch we'll be hearing from Google's Matt Cutts sometime soon ;) We're definitely seeing a soft implementation. Here's an article I just published relating to this topic: New SEO Practices for a Google Caffeine World ...