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Google Updates and SERP Changes - February 2010

2:27 am on Feb 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

I have noticed a big increase in my Blog Traffic, but my keyword traffic is down. I am going to assume that Caffeine has not hit all data servers yet ? I would assume this because my contacts in Chicago, Iowa all say my keyword rankings are -30. My assoicates on the west coast say I am on the first page. Here in Texas I am on the first page. The wierd thing is my traffic is not really down. hmmmmmm

[edited by: tedster at 5:47 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2010]

10:07 am on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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no difference between that IP and Google.co.uk even with the UK region string on the end of the IP.

Results 1 - 10 of about 26,200,000 for cheap flights.

Results 1 - 10 of about 26,100,000 for cheap flights.

No difference in rankings for me.
10:34 am on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

That's on my testing browser that does not accept cookies and has never had a Google account on it.

I do have a fixed IP however so cannot be completely anonymous.


10:40 am on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ChrisHamilton, if you check the same query at google.com with gl=us you'll notice the difference.. Maybe that IP is only using caffeine for US SERPs...

My worry is not so much about caffeine but about the traffic levels after it has been implemented, as I am judged by my clients for the overall visits to the site, not for specific keywords...

Whitenight I do get your point on nastyness and the links between Google and some intelligence services. Even though it was due to happen... How many other liberties are we losing with this looney war on trerror..

Find it hard to believe Google is intentionally doing this...
2:43 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

They are differences in that IP, for me they show even logged in Google. That IP is the same as what some said is caffeine. AFAIK there are out of the rotation, my traffic is down and that has been a good measure of caffeine vs non-caffeine lately
3:17 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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i persoanlly think i've been seeing caffeine for weeks here in the uk, to be it looks rolled out
5:02 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I personally think I've been seeing caffeine for weeks here in the UK, to be it looks rolled out

I guess this is my point of uncertainty. I'm not sure how we'll know when/if it is completely rolled out unless/until they tell us. Differences between data centers is nothing new. But, as I said earlier, I don't know a lot about Caffeine, so I yield to those who have been following it closely. I am trying to catch up on all this and figure out why my site has suffered so much since January 11, and why crawl rates on all of my sites have dropped so drastically.
6:20 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I noticed a change in the SERP on January 11 for keywords that I follow and I also noticed at that time that Caffeine was starting to show on less datacenters than in recent weeks before that date.
8:29 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If you do not know which copy of what DB, at which DC, thru which Load Balancer returned your query from which DNS entry for google.com, how do you know what you are comparing?

8:51 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I believe google Caffeine is on all servers. Why ? Becasue after December my rankings dropped for competitive keywords to a -30. They have not recovered. IF your rankings have left the building, I would recommend changing your strategy instead of trying to figure out whether caffeine is rolled out or not. I honestly believe it is, because after December lots of us in my particular industry got hit....even though I had more quality links that my "Brand" competitors.
9:22 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I think that's good advice for many. If a site clearly has a penalty right now, then even a complete roll-out of Caffeine would not lift it, at least in most cases.
9:35 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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no difference between that IP and Google.co.uk even with the UK region string on the end of the IP.

Is this how people are assuming they're seeing Caffeine...different results? I don't see how anyone can be certain they're seeing caffinated serps.
9:57 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Tell me if I am wrong, but the main development with caffeine was speed of search.

The speeds I am seeing are not faster than before caffeine for my chosen searches, here in the UK.

Although some ranking losses I have experienced are still there, since just before Christmas.

I dont think caffiene is live and if it is, I am disapointed that it has not done what I though it would; make searching faster.

I think it will now happen at once.
10:07 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I dont see how anyone can assume caffeine is not up and running on all servers ? Matt did say it would be rolled out after the Holidays.... Holidays came and went... and so did a lot of rankings. I know personally I dont have a penalty, just link devaluation. This is very typical during a Google update. Matt did say Serps would be faster, some would get affected in serps and they did not want to roll out update until after holidays so WEBMASTERS would not feel the pain during Holidays. So there was going to be some affected according to Matt...
10:18 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member


Lol, it's obvious you're more interested in "proving me wrong" than understanding YOUR OWN SITE'S increase in traffic.

What's wrong with that picture?!

So i hope you won't mind if i take your Caff. "analysis" or post updates with a grain of salt, yes?

I'm good with that...

If we go back to what we know, Caffiene is an infrastructure change. This is not an index refresh, update or algo change. In my opinion, that infrastructure change may have to do with freshness of results. I've seen instances of this recently and did a small experiment on a rather obscure topic. I've done this from time to time, but never saw this happen before. Now - all warnings, I have not done this type of experiment in about a year, so I'd welcome comments if anyone saw this occur last year.

About two hours after putting up the page on this topic, I did a search in Google, that page was not in the top 50 results. I stopped looking at that point.

I did the following query "odd topic" site:foo.com (where foo is our website). Google didn't show any results.

I then used a ping service to tell Google this page was up.

I then checked the term again in Google's results with the site: command. The first time my page still wasn't there. But about ten minutes later the page was now in the index.

I did a query on Google search, we were ranking number 4 and we've been there ever since.

This was NOT a News topic...

[edited by: BillyS at 10:25 pm (utc) on Feb 15, 2010]

10:18 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm noticing major fluctuations across a lot of SERPs I'm monitoring. Seems something happened to Google's algo on 30th January, and then again a week later (around the 7th February). Anyone notice anything similar?

I don't think this is Caffeine related, and I'm pretty sure we're not seeing it in the UK yet.
10:29 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The biggest way to tell is by the number of results showing, for my major keyword, normal data centers would show around the 25,000,000 mark. Caffeine would always show 15,000,000. All data centers right now, are still showing 25,000,000 results.

Im not convinced Caffeine is live.
10:35 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I've noticed a slight change; the Google Olympic games logo is repositioned on walkman's ( (Okay, that's not significant, but at least you know you're on a Caff box. :) Only seeing this in FF, by the way)

I will also say that I am seeing some increased speeds behind a .mil
11:13 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

A datacenter serving up UK results is not "Caffeine".
11:25 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

If we go back to what we know, Caffiene is an infrastructure change.

Again, I have already, several times now
explained what Caffeine "is" and "is not"

I'm NOT going to re-explain and debate it in every monthly thread
as soon as various others come along to give their "opinions".

As always feel free to go back and re-read -- the last 8 months now -- my analysis if one wants a deeper, more thorough understanding of Caff.

(again, you seem to be under the impression that the most "popular" opinions are the correct one.
I make a habit of giving the most "unbelievable" analysis which ultimately end up being the CORRECT ones)

Until someone starts consistently using the words (with understanding)
I just assume they are, at best, confused, and at worst, clueless, about what they are or are not seeing in terms of Caff.

and whoever wants to take this 'personally', feel free ;)
11:47 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Problem is WN

Mark..4.5 / Matthew ..13.5
Zechariah..7.1 / Romans ..11.8

and variations on ...
and now we await with bated breath the customary ..

variation upon

Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2

"I/we come to say that of late I'm/we're not happy with G ..but ..."

[edited by: Leosghost at 11:52 pm (utc) on Feb 15, 2010]

11:49 pm on Feb 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

lol i have to guess what verses these are but i'm going to look them up right now to see if my intuition is right.

edited to add
;) yea, Sus scrofa domestica et Nacre, Disce aut Discede
12:10 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


why do you continue to beat yourself up over this? If people do not want to read and do their own research, and just come here and post their theories, there is little you can do.

I watch all of these replies and I get a headache just reading most of them. Part of me wants to reply to them but I know that they will not listen. Do you really blame them? When everyone thinks they are an expert and starts posting their crazy theories and opinions, its hard to know who actually knows what they are talking about.

I will try to explain as simple as possible for all the folks who are confused about caffeine.

There is a lot more to caffeine, but this is for the people who are lost and/or confused.

What is google caffeine?
It's a google update. Google has made some changes.

Will my SERP's be different on caffeine?
Most likely you will see a slight difference in SERP's for most if not all of your search phrases. Google uses over 200 factors to rank a website, when they make even a small change to their system, it has a trickle down effect.

When will it be released?
Google announced it has released caffeine to 1 datacenter so roughly 10-20% of google users will see caffeine, the rest will see regular non-updated google.

How do I know if I am seeing google caffeine or regular non-updated google?
Well, since most people will still be seeing regular google, you will need to do the same search on different computers until you see some difference. It is important to know how to search so that you do not mistakenly see personalized results. There are free proxies that are available to use. Picture a proxy like internet teleportation, you can have a computer from somewhere else retrieve web pages for you. Make sure the proxies you use are in the same country as you. Run your search query on at least 20 different proxies, if you find several that return slightly different SERPs, congratulations, you have found caffeine.

Proxies sound too complicated, is there anywhere else I can get this information?

Absolutely. Just call all your family and friends and have them do the search for you. Just tell them its a cool google experiment.

As of right now, as far as I can tell, caffeine is not available anywhere. Not in the US anyway as all the proxies with caffeine I have been tracking for the last 3 months do not show these updates at the moment.

I hope this helps someone.

[edited by: brinked at 12:11 am (utc) on Feb 16, 2010]

12:11 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Whitenight ur right in what you say... But one of the main differences is supposed to be speed of search and one other to have different datasets (?)

The search ChrisHamilton refers to takes 0.52 seconds on google.com and on it takes 0.22 and also provides different results... That search is a money keyword (have no idea for this industry) so I think is getting close to a good example of caffeine (to my perception anyway).

Think the time is an indication of the Infrastructure and the two different sets of results I am seeing over here, suggest to me that I am seeing a different data set...

I may be wrong but truly see differences here...
12:15 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Nice post brinked.
Explained nicely.
12:19 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

As I mentioned in an earlier thread that I started today...

I am seeing slightly different results for 1 keyword in my Droid phone (over verizon network) than I am via my home computer.
12:24 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


that could be because google returns different results for mobile phones than it does PC users. Google will favor a site that has a mobile version over others who do not.

Make sure you are not viewing googles mobile version. Also make sure it is not personalized SERPs.

Also...if you have wifi on your droid, try connecting to your wireless network and do the search and see if it comes back the same as your PC connected to the same network.

If after you have done that, and are still seeing different results, looks like you have some troubleshooting to do
12:53 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am curious ? How do you know that Caffeine is not up and running ? I keep reading posts that caffeine is on particular IP Addresses ? How in the world would anyone know whether its actually running if that particualr person did not install the software or hear and update from Matt ? This just baffles me.... Edcuate me as to how you would announce its not up and running as far as you can tell ?
1:03 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I never definitively said caffeine is not up right now. I said, as far as I can tell it is not. I can tell because I have been tracking caffeine for over 3 months now. I have been tracking about a dozen or so search phrases and all have changed position in the caffeinated version of google. I have relied on 6 steady web proxies that have routinely showed me caffeine positions versus my home PC which shows me regular search position for said keywords.

several days ago, these 6 proxies have started to also show regular google results. At the same time many other on here and other message boards reported the same findings. Also, the IP address that caffeine had been found on for the last month or so also started showing regular google results.

When you spend as much time on something as I do, you get a good feeling about it and sometimes you just know. But I can pretty much say that caffeine is no longer on that 1 data center. If someone can prove otherwise that would be great and they should report it here.
1:39 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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brinked I am with you, been following Caff since it started in the sandbox. What is being shown now looks nothing like what they have been showing in the datacenters as Caff for the past several months.

1. Either they have finished testing and are going to roll it out to all datacenters
2. They scraped it all together.
3. What your seeing now is Caff on all datacenters, (highly unlikely given past and recent data)
1:47 am on Feb 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

kd454, exactly what ive been saying, caffeine is not showing on any data centers, and the results I too am seeing live look nothing like the caffeine results I was seeing.

Fingers crossed it's the first option you listed.

It would be good to get an official word from Google though.
This 302 message thread spans 11 pages: 302

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