There’s been some really interesting stuff happening in search over the last 24 hours. Here’s a quick recap:
First, Facebook’s acquisition of Friendfeed and subsequent immediate launch of live search has led to lots of speculation that, together, the two might make a formidable team that will challenge Google in real-time search.
Second, what Google is calling their Caffeine Update was unveiled. This is the news SEOs are talking about today. According to Google’s search wizard Matt Cutts, Google Caffeine is not going to be obvious when you test it out.
“This update is primarily under the hood: we’re rewriting the foundation of some of our infrastructure,” said Cutts on his blog. “But some of the search results do change, so we wanted to open up a preview so that power searchers and web developers could give us feedback.”
You can test Google’s new search index yourself by going to http://www2.sandbox.google.com and doing some searches. You can even leave feedback for Google by clicking the “Dissatisfied” link at the bottom of the results page. Just be sure to include “Caffeine” in your message.
Here’s the key point to remember about Google’s update: no one knows what’s new. Google has said they’ve made changes and has given you a way to try and find those changes, but has not said what exactly is different. Let the speculation begin!
Anytime Google even hints about tweaking their algorithm or the way search results are displayed, SEOs everywhere take notice. Caffeine will, undoubtedly, have SEOs trying to find the difference (subtle or otherwise) between current search results and what they see on caffeine. I’m sure over the next few weeks the blogosphere will be buzzing with theories and findings about what’s different.
I’ve tried caffeine a few times, but only for searches we manage for clients. Other than seemingly faster results, I didn’t see any obvious differences.
Search is BIG Business. It’s cool to see that competition seems to be alive and that Google is trying to get better.