Google Caffeine update – let’s dance


Last week Google broke the news to an eagerly-expectant crowd at the San José Convention Center that a new algo update is round the corner. This change is set to speed up the SERPs, carry more data and generally make the world a better place.

For the first time, Google has jumped on the PR wagon and released a sandbox test for us all to admire. The search giant suggests – not very descriptively – that there is much more ‘under the hood’ in this version.

I’ve noticed this type of PR around Google products has picked up pace over the last six to nine months. For example, similar coverage about Google’s street maps generated a lot of brand buzz. Google has definitely made a recent and welcome change to its stance on openness and communicating to the public.

I remember back to the days when Google would roll out a ‘Google Dance’: listings would be shaken up for a few days, and then things would settle down. No one knew why, how or what had happened – it was up to us to guess the changes from the rumour mill on forums.

Over the last two years, changes have been more frequent, fast and published with limited explanations from Google. I believe it is a credit that the industry we work in that it’s always looking to improve the SERPs.

I also believe some of the recent changes implemented to the algo could be reactive and designed to pick up on specific trends some SEO experts use to manipulate results (link sculpting?)

Here is a brief summary of some of the notable Google Dance updates over the years.

Update name
Big Daddy Update
New technology, architecture and algorithm
Power to the brands
A clean up of spam and link abuse
To improve the crawl process
A brand new algorithm – the Hilltop Algorithm?

So, what can we expect from the Caffeine update when it is rolled out?

From using the sandbox version I have noticed that the load time is much quicker – the use of Ajax will increase efficiency. I also predict that the ‘Vince’ update will be rolled out to a larger set of keywords when this goes live – not just vanity keywords. With so many brands to focus on and give weighting to, I can’t think that this will be a ‘one-click’ update.


More on this subject