Caffeine: Google's Latest Update and its Impact on Search Engine Optimisation

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Google will soon be releasing a major revision to their search algorithm. Miles Cottrell looks at how this will affect the search results and the search engine optimisation community.

Google will soon be releasing a major revision to their search algorithm. Miles Cottrell looks at how this will affect the search results and the search engine optimisation community.

The latest major update to the Google search algorithm, Codenamed Caffeine, is nearing completion. The raft of changes is expected to result in faster indexing, a greater number of pages indexed overall, and a much more informative search results page.

SEO consultants and Webmasters across the country are currently scrambling to prepare their sites and campaigns for the changes and opportunities that Caffeine will bring.

Below, Miles Cottrell, Director of leading search engine optimisation company Top Click Media, outlines the changes, and how the industry is preparing...

Miles Cottrell, on the search engine optimisation benefits and affects of Caffeine

Real-Time Search Result Integration

Google have made no secret of the admiration they have for the type of real-time results that social networks like Twitter and to a lesser extent Facebook boast. Real-time updates are one of the most noticeable changes that Google intend to implement with caffeine. However, it's also one of the hardest to get right.

If they manage to pull it off, it will lead to a huge increase in time-sensitive searching as people begin to search for breaking news and rapidly changeable information in ways they never have before.

Needless to say, this could be huge for search engine optimisation. Webmasters will be able to place time sensitive content on their sites and rely on it being indexed and available to searchers immediately, allowing a host of branding and product placement opportunities that are currently impossible.

Image and Video Results

The image and video results at the top and/or middle of the search results pages have been a big hit with users. However, they have also inhibited Google's paid search revenues. As a result, Google may move the image and video results closer to the bottom of the page where they will not distract users from the ads.

This is very good news for SEOs, as many search engine results will appear higher up the page - you will in effect get more value from your high positions. However, these improvements might come at a cost to user experience. A balance will have to be struck, only time will tell how this ends up.

Prominence of Social Media

This isn't really one specific change, though Google will be steadily lending more importance to social network profiles in the rankings. Webmasters would do well to revaluate their social networking strategies as they are likely to become much more important.

Essentially, Caffeine could be very good for SEOs. As with all major changes, new opportunities will emerge for the brightest and best optimisers. However, there's not too much in Caffeine that changes current best practice - on page techniques remain fundamentally important and ethical off page activities should remain effective.

That said, it always pays to be on the safe side. You can predict your caffeine ranking with the following apps.

Ranking Checker - checks current Google ranking against Caffeine.

Google Caffeine Bookmarklet - enables you to check caffeine results through your browser.

Firefox Search Bar Plug-In - places Caffeine on your search bar.,,, vs Google Caffeine - split screen comparison between the two.

If you do your due diligence using the above and have a think about how to exploit some of the new opportunities that caffeine will bring, then there should be no adverse effect on your ranking. You may even gain from it.

Miles Cottrell (Director, Top Click Media)
DD: 01932 460060
Tel: 0845 095 6633
Fax: 0871 989 5239


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