Google Caffeine and the perception game

Google Caffeine and the perception game

Summary: Google is asking for your help checking out its tweaks to its search engine---not that you'll notice much difference. These Google search changes would usually happen behind the scenes without much fanfare.

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TOPICS: Google, Browser
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Google is asking for your help checking out its tweaks to its search engine---not that you'll notice much difference. These Google search changes would usually happen behind the scenes without much fanfare. So what's this about? Perception.

In a blog post, Google wrote:

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.

Matt Cutts also has more information.

Needless to say that Techmeme is all aflutter. It's great that Google is asking for feedback. Some folks say that the latest Google tweaks are faster and illustrate the search giant's focus on technology. Others are focused on real-time indexing of Twitter and SEO. I'm in the camp that can't find much difference. On topics near and dear to me like "antibiotics and Lyme disease"---I'm taking enough antibiotics right now to kill a horse---the results are about the same. Maybe something gets moved here and there, but overall it's the same old Google results.

Also seeAre Google's 'Caffeine' search results more like Bing's?

So what's this really about? Perception. Microsoft with Bing made much ado about its search engine tweaks. Microsoft focused on a few key verticals, got good reviews and cut a deal with Yahoo. If Bing were still named Live Search we wouldn't notice what Microsoft changed.

And then there was Wolfram Alpha, which was going to change the search world and potentially sneak up on Google. Wolfram Alpha claims to give you intelligence not just blue links. Bing claims the same thing.

Google's lesson through all of this. Google can't quietly innovate anymore. It has to yap about it---at least a little. It's about perception AND technology. Enter this Caffeine project.

Topics: Google, Browser

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2 comments
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  • side-by-side caffeine/google comparison

    comparegoogle.com

    This has been helpful in finding difference in
    search results for the two algorithms. Just put in
    some keywords and see what changed. Could be
    helpful for SEO engineers.
    doubleshotweb
  • Yes

    You are dead-on. Google has always been making under-the-hood changes constantly and incrementally that slowly change their search engine drastically. But, Joe-User never notices anything... because it's slow and incremental. SEOs(good ones) notice, and Joe-Webmaster notices, but only when it has to do with his site.

    Now that search has become a competition of media and marketing, Google can't be seen as stationary... they have to let the world know how often they are, and always have been, improving their search engine.

    They have never, to my knowledge, made a big deal about an algorithm change in the media before, but maybe it's Bing being such a big story lately that makes people cover this... and not the other way around.
    Metronome49