Just before last week's SES conference Google announced the launch of their new caffeine infrastructure:
For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google's web search. It's the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits "under the hood" of Google's search engine, which means that most users won't notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we're opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback.
In the new infrastructure so far I think there is...
- an increased weighting on domain authority & some authoritative tag type pages ranking (like Technorati tag pages + Facebook tag pages), as well as pages on sites like Scribd ranking for some long tail queries based mostly on domain authority and sorta spammy on page text
- perhaps slightly more weight on exact match domain names
- perhaps a bit better understanding of related words / synonyms
- tuning down some of the exposure for video & some universal search results
You can check out the new results here and CompareCaffeine.com offers side by side comparisons of new Google + old Google - similar to the recent blind search service which compared Google, Yahoo!, & Bing results.
As highlighted by Matt Cutts, the aim of the infrastructure change is to allow further evolution of search...so if you analyze the results a bunch now then what you are aiming for might look quite different than the search results which appear in November.
This WMW thread mentions some relevant background on Google's approach to storage. In his post on the update John Andrews mentioned how smaller chunking of data could allow the algorithms to make SEO more challenging (or at least more holistic):
Smaller chunks means faster SERP generation…. and possibly more specific quality management (smaller more specific binning of URLs if desired) How this plays out for SEO is interesting now… and especially whether or not we will be able to influence various aspects independently from the whole.
The ROI on effective SEO campaigns is simply unbelievable, and Google is going to do everything in their power to diminish the ROI of algorithmically focused optimization efforts. As the cost of memory drops and the algorithms improve, the next couple years might separate the men from the boys in the SEO space. Those improvements will drive many SEO practitioners into parallel fields like niche publishing and public relations. 5 years ago was the perfect time to start building your empire. But starting today is far better than starting tomorrow.
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