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Google's New Caffeine Engine - the dev version is now public

 12:48 am on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Secretly, they’ve been working on a new project: the next generation of Google Search. This isn't just some minor upgrade, but an entire new infrastructure for the world’s largest search engine...Google's now confident enough in the new version of its search engine that it has released the development version for public consumption. While you won't see too many differences immediately, let us assure you: it's a completely upgraded Google search.

Article at Mashable [mashable.com]

The url for the development version is [www2.sandbox.google.com...]



 3:48 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

is it called "caffeine" because they believe lots of webmaster will need lots of it when trying to make up for ranking losses after introduction of this version?


 3:54 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's not often Google does a pre-announcement of a major change to the algo. I don't recall a Florida or Big Daddy announcement.

So why now?

In my opinion, it's simply to take some of the press away from Bing which is getting a lot of it at the moment among webmasters, forums, and people in general.

The average searcher is not going to be talking about the Caffeine change to Google but they might talk about “hey have you seen Bing?”

Google is trolling and that is why they are asking for feedback from the Webmaster/SEO community. And as usual, the community will flock to them and tell them exactly what they need to hear to come up with even more asinine penalties.

I understand the need to evaluate and talk about Google but they do read these boards and you can bet when a thread or another stupid eBook gets released about how the sauce works hit's to close to home, they take notice and low and behold that particular ingredient to the sauce no longer works. I've seen this happen time and time again since I've started reading the board in the 2003. Loose lips really does sink ships.

Times have changed and Google is no longer that "Do no Evil" Company those like myself remember. They are as corporate as IBM or Microsoft and their eye is on profit.

Personally, I will not offer up anything to Google anymore and I hope more and more Webmasters and SEOs come to the same conclusion.

Of course these are my opinions and I know there are those that would offer up their first born to Google, but times are changing and the sooner people realize Google is not our friend anymore the better of the SEO/Webmaster community will be.


 3:58 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

- I would like to know if any of you -950 sites are seeing your sites on this SE?

Does it really matter, in the long run or in the larger scheme of things?

It does to whitenight, because he's convinced the "OOP" is an accidental artifact of anti-googlebowling and/or anti-googlebombing architecture.

Also, identification of "edge cases" is exactly what is needed here. Presumably, the current configuration is as close as is possible to the synthesising the existing infrastructure. Where it doesn't match reveals the differences.

A critique of the differences is probably the only way we can export our current "knowledge" to the new system. Although, perhaps fresh analysis might avoid the export of the baseless myth.


 3:59 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does it really matter, in the long run or in the larger scheme of things? If Google is getting ready to introduce a completely new infrastructure, it's unlikely that fine-tuning filters, penalties, etc. is the #1 priority. What you see today on the "sandbox" version of Google isn't likely to be what you'll see next month or the month after.

Sez who?

I'll forego the rant I was about to write and instead thank you for your keen insight into how Goog works. ;)

Anyone ELSE noticing OOP filters changed?

lol edited to add - thanks Shaddows. :)


 4:08 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

also note that its using # in the URL

That's a real bummer. How do I add it as a search engine to Firefox?

That's easy... same as usual....


 4:11 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Am sure, many of the sites will go down, again beware spammers from your EVIL activities :D


 4:14 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

How are people's YO-YO pages appearing on dev.goog?


 4:15 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Other thing that I notice is that there is less Universal search results. Have you experienced the same?


 4:26 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

The results look like something back from Google's history. Like just before BigDaddy rolled out. I wonder if they are planning to throw away everything they have done since 2006 and start again from the old pre BigDaddy infrastructure and algorithm.

If they are looking back in Google history for a rollback marker I would suggest they should go back to April or May 2004 when they had got the main bugs from the Florida update sorted.




 4:27 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

At least my rankings are still okay :D


 4:38 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yawn.....A couple of things:

- Several of my penalties (OOP or otherwise) seem to have
been temporarily lifted on this test site;

- Speed seems the same to me....never really an issue

- This is definitely Google's answer to the Bing/Yahoo
publicity out there. Whether a real infrastructural
change or not, good to see that they are scared (they
should be !). I'm surprised that they aren't at least
putting a different "face" on this testbed, to give
the visual elusion of something "different";

- You can bet that filtering algorithms or actual
filters themselves will be imported at some point;

- Bing still gives superior results IMO. It appears that
some spam has been filtered out though....



 4:52 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

We are not seeing any difference in serps. Oddly every query we tested was exactly the same. Same speed, same results.



 4:59 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's faster but I don't see any difference compared to the usual SERPS. Too much weight on links (still great for link buyers!) and not enough weight on content.


 5:10 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems there are some filters/penalties that have not been brought over to the new index


 5:30 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm thinking we're not going to see any big changes in rankings for queries that are not time sensitive. I thought Google was talking about speed of indexing and infrastructure changes. We may be seeing a more robust Index and SERPs that would naturally flow from that Index.


 5:51 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

The differences I see have nothing to do with penalties... Example: Rank of one of my sites 2 months ago - #2. Rank now on Google - #17. Rank now on Google Caffeine - #6. I am perfectly fine with that. For this particular site my rankings are much better than they are currently, but still not as good as they were a couple months ago.


 6:25 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

That's easy... same as usual....

Thanks - I couldn't get that to work at first, but it's working now.


 6:27 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm struggling to see any differences, let alone draw any conclusions.

A step towards real-time search perhaps?


 6:57 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

A step towards real-time search perhaps?

Well, I don't know what its all about yet but one interesting thing I have been watching for a site of ours is a time stamp under a snippet just in front of the cache link thats been changing every hour. This is being displayed for a few good key words this site ranks for. I first noticed it displayed "16 hours ago" and it has jumped an hour three times now. (16, 17, 18 and now displaying "19 hours ago"). I never saw that for one of our sites in the old index.

We have not made any changes to the home page in a few weeks. (which is the cached page I found this on)


 7:19 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

In the world of auto racing, if you are the dominating engine, and winning 90% of the races, why would you tweak it? Makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. I will say, there will be a revolt of sorts in the future is peoples sites, which were decently ranking, suddenly take a nosedive in the rankings. I just think it's a very fine line. Some peoples livelihoods are based on their websites.

I go back to my main point, this makes no sense. Why would you start changing your search results when you have 70-90% marketshare. People are using your search engine because they like the results. Why else are we using it? Is that only because MS and Yahoo suck? I'm completely shocked by this news.


 7:23 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

My money is on this is the reason for all the upheavel in the SERPS recently.

I actually called a few weeks ago that it reminded me of april/may 2003 when google brought in everflux/rolling update - weeks of messing around.

This all makes sense to me now. Not seeing massive changes in www2 test site compared with old.

Wonder if they need to fold in/apply new backlink data or anything which might affect things.


 9:27 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Times have changed and Google is no longer that "Do no Evil" Company those like myself remember. They are as corporate as IBM or Microsoft and their eye is on profit.

Google may or may not be evil, I'll let others decide on that.

But forming a corporation as a business structure or having an eye on profit does not make one evil. If it does, I'll have to change my username from FarmBoy to EvilBoy.



 9:33 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

The image results are terrible.

Clicking through the "image results" link takes you to the normal image search, but the top 4 images being displayed do not match the results from normal image search.

The images being shown are only about half relevant, and much lower quailty.

I can only assume this means the sandbox site does not have a real image search attached to it -- they can't possibly go live with the image results I'm seeing.


 10:13 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

"My money is on this is the reason for all the upheavel in the SERPS recently."

That seems pretty clear. These results seem very similar to a batch a couple weeks ago. Algo tinkering can be done on the old Google, so the non-infrastructure changes have probably been being experimented with for the past couple months. The new thing would then just be the experiments mixed with the infrastructure.

The new thing perhaps does seem a little better because there is a lot less of the universal search crap cluttering the results.

(My image results just redirect to google.com ones, so they aren't "new" results.")


 10:54 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't recall a Florida or Big Daddy announcement.

Most definitely Big Daddy - which also was a significant infrastructure upgrade. Big Daddy moved Google away from the monthly update cycles and into the continually churn we see today.

the changeover to Big Daddy went on for several months, with Matt Cutts blogging about it a lot as the phases rolled out and asking for webmaster feedback all along the way. In fact, the Jagger update that preceded the actual migration was a way of preparing for the switch.

For history buffs, here's a link for WebmasterWorld's Monthly Reference for Google Updates and SERP Changes [webmasterworld.com]


 11:01 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I know Tedster believed and posted a while back that some big changes will be happening with their search. This timing though to me is to counter act the new bing and also include the MS and Yahoo deals.


 11:33 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

This timing though to me is to counter act the new bing and also include the MS and Yahoo deals.

Google may be fast, but not that fast. :-)

IMHO, the timing is more likely to be related to the season: August is quiet time in Web terms.


 11:49 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I really don't see much or if any difference in the SERPS, no more than what is normal. Being an SEO, I look forward to being asked questions "Oh Google's changing so much, what are you doing differently now" hah.

The answer is: "Nuthin!" SEO strategies developed by experienced consultants, stand the test of time.


 11:49 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I don't get what the big deal is about the new results. They look pretty much just like the current ones.



 11:55 pm on Aug 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Besides being faster, nothing major seems to have changed. I think the reason it's for the public eye is to diminish good press that Bing gets :).


 12:05 am on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems fast. But is it, or is that just because it's not bogged down by the hunt for appropriate ads?

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