Get some Caffeine

06.01.11
By SUKHBIR

Google rocked the web design world in June when it announced the release of Caffeine – a massive redesign of Google's search algorithm, which sent web developers of all sorts scrambling to figure out how it would affect their websites.

So, let's take a look at what has happened.

When Google went live with Caffeine, it was like letting a bull into a paddock of cows – things went crazy. Caffeine changes the way Google indexes websites, which means a business website that was on top of its search rankings in the past may no longer be the dominant website.

Previously, Google indexed websites as it trawled through the Internet, scanning pages for keywords and distinguishing features, ranking them accordingly. To update its search results, it would have to scan through the entire Internet – no mean feat. As the website grew, the task became more difficult, and changes to a website could take weeks to be noticed. As a result, Google decided to create a search algorithm that would react much faster to changes on the Internet, by scanning smaller sections at a time, and updating continuously, rather than only at the completion of each scan.

One of the big aspects for Google is that search results are much newer, but there is more to it than that. Google now puts greater importance on social media – websites like Facebook and Twitter are now more important in terms of search rankings. Bigger websites will rank better, websites with fresh and new content will rank better, and even things like website reliability – does it load quickly, is it likely to crash – are taken into account.

Importantly, any changes to a website will be picked up much faster than before, meaning there has never been a better time to talk to a web designer about a new website, or updating your current one.

In this post we took a look at what Google's Caffeine is. In the next post we'll take a look at the impact it has on business websites.