Google Caffeine is essentially Google’s new, upgraded search engine. While Google has said the official launch of the new search will not be made until after the holidays, it’s actually live in a few data centers already.
Google announced the new search platform development back in August of this year (2009) and has provided us a cool sandbox to test results in. While the sandbox is no longer available, we can tell you that for *most the ranking changes will be mild. I would like to, however, discuss the expected ranking metrics that will likely be changed or tweaked when the the Caffeine update goes live.
Back in August Google had the following to say regarding the needs of a quality search engine.
To build a great web search engine, you need to:
- Crawl a large chunk of the web.
- Index the resulting pages and compute how reputable those pages are.
Rank and return the most relevant pages for users’ queries as quickly as possible.
So what can you expect?
We think you can expect Google to really go after website quality metrics such as, speed, broken links, navigation and content. This will likely have a far greater impact on rank that in the past.
We also believe Google will add even more rank consideration to the signs of regularly maintained websites. We tell customers that Google likes to know the lights are on AND someone is home. The freshness and quality of content has been hugely important this year and we believe this will not only continue… But become even more important with Caffeine.
You can expect Google to continue to show strong distaste for paid and reciprocal links and can add linking out to bad neighborhood and spammy websites to boot. Certainly you have little or no control over who links to you, but you *should have complete control over who you link to. This is just another responsibility factor…. Many of the noted items that we feel are being weighted better center around professionalism, maintenance and effort. These are all things you should already be doing, this is your business… remember?
Spam. Google has consistently demonstrated that spam will not be tolerated. Things like hidden text, unnatural text, pumped up keyword density and comma separated lists are not going to be tolerated. We have already seen Google moving quickly and efficiently on these spam and quality issues over the last 4 months… Do not make this mistake, the cost can be more than your business can afford.
I think you can expect to see some very long time huge ranking factors fall away from the added weight they currently carry. Metrics like the age of the website will still be important, but not enough to maintain rank as they have been in the past. Those old, unmaintained authority type websites will begin to topple, making way for fresh and maintained content from any age website.
Shoot me now… But I think you will see Google taking a much deeper look at the type and quality of backlinks, as opposed to a number of backlinks or inventory type attitude. So links from Social media sources, which are considered highly fresh and indicate activity will carry more weight that they currently do. I think additionally, links from seed sites, which are ranking well and relevant will carry even more weight than ever before.
The way i see this, is that Google is doing its job an