Google Caffeine The speed, accuracy and relevancy of Google search results are only getting better. On the 8th June 2010, Google announced one of their largest ever search algorithm updates. Built to make search more up-to-date, Caffeine will index new content within minutes of it being published with Google to "provide search results that are 50% fresher than their previous algorithm. Google's new indexing system called Caffeine will produce real-time search results that previously only covered breaking news articles, and will now include information from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Google have commented on their blog: "Whether it's a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before. Some background for those of you who don't build search engines for a living like us: when you search Google, you're not searching the live web. Instead you're searching Google's index of the web which, like the list in the back of a book, helps you pinpoint exactly the information you need. (Here's a good explanation of how it all works.)" What impact will it have on a business? The considerations will both be:

  1. Some businesses search engine rankings within Google may increase or vanish.Historically, large Google updates have seen some sites significantly affected both positively and negatively through the algorithmic updates. While for some the position change is marginal, other more significant movements have seen websites entirely vanish from view. However as always, Google's focus is around keeping its search engines results fresh, accurate and up-to-date and so these regular updates are crucial in Google maintaining its position as a market leader in the search engine industry.
  2. Real-time search resultsWebsites that have previously sat at the top of Google's organic results will now find that their sites move down to make way for real-time results. While real-time results may only show temporarily, for sites that are currently getting top spot through a fixed could find a dramatic drop in website traffic even over a temporary drop. A company who has no social media strategy, (or not a strong one) will need to rethink their approach to web marketing to keep the Google as a viable source of traffic.
  3. Real-time inclusion of social media updates within organic results may also see more widespread usage of social media platforms as it increases reach to search engine users. A study found 51% Facebook users and 67% Twitter followers were more likely to buy the brands they liked and followed on these sites. Social media gives a face to a brand and by engaging customers in sharing content that demonstrates their expertise, will help divert quality traffic to their website and hopefully into conversions.

If your company's website has been affected by the recent changes, you may want to talk to your SEO expert to find out what can be done to help improve your site rankings and make it more robust for the future.