Google Caffeine: New Indexing Infrastructure Goes Live
Google Gives You a Jolt of Caffeine
Google's overhaul of its web indexing infrastructure, code-named Caffeine, is now live after over seven months of data-center testing. This means that Google is processing single pages through its indexing pipeline as they're published, rather than doing a batch-processing job for that page's entire site. Translation: Caffeine means much faster indexing time from initial crawl to visibility in public search engine results.
Also, Google is better positioned to leverage the real-time web, which is informed by input form Twitter, Friendfeed, public Facebook pages, and sites pushing content through RSSCloud.
Caffeine: 'Not an Algorithm Change'
Google asserts that Caffeine is not, in and of itself, a change to its search algorithm, but leaves the door wide open for such changes in the future. Google could, if it so chose, assign new weight to media elements, for example, and apply country association on more than one level.
What Caffeine Means to You
If you are a web-writing Shaolin, then this does not affect you at all. Alas, that is likely not the case. The Caffeine changeover could mix up the pages with which you compete at the moment you are crawled, so make sure that your game is tight. Read our best practices for web writing, and take that info on board. Now's the time to jettison those cutesy headlines in favor of the keyword-rich and instantly informative.
Some instant, easy-to-implement changes you can make to your writing:
- Keyword-rich headline
- Concise paragraphs
- Short blockquotes
- Proper names
- Check spelling- yes, bad spelling and grammar will hurt you
That last one is important vis-a-vis keywords. We've seen otherwise-solid posts ruined by misspelled keywords: search engines may not crawl your page again for up to 24 hours after the initial look-see, so if you spelled it "Gulf of Mecixo" or "oil spil", then your traffic will suffer.
Note that the introduction of Caffeine doesn’t necessarily mean that pages will be crawled on a faster schedule than before. It simply means that once those pages are crawled, they are made available to searchers much more quickly. (Remember, you can estimate how often your pages are crawled by taking a look at your server logs or checking the cache dates in Google.)