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Google & SEO \ DEC 17th 2009

Google Caffeine – What Changes & What Stays the Same


Rumors have been a buzzing across the web that Google is about to introduce a new algorithm that will affect anyone who deals with SEO, SEM (search engine marketing) and web design.

This new algorithm is being called Google Caffeine and it will be launched some time after the holidays. So what is it? Matt Cutts calls it “…the new technology that improves our indexing infrastructure.”

Here are the categories in which tweaks and changes have been made. In some categories the changes are more dramatic than others, but in all cases the changes are constructed over Google’s basic line of thought – what’s good for you is good for Google and what’s good for Google is good for your users and business as well.

1. Content is Still King

Good news optimizers, content is still king. More to the point, relevant content is still king. Your website’s content should relate to your main message, to your products or your services. You’ll find irrelevant content to be much less effective. Also, an easily indexed website will get higher ranking than a website the Google bot finds hard to crawl. For this reason you should refrain from using a shotgun approach. Adding original content, or presenting your content in an original way is recommend and is also a good way of promoting your website for search engines. Sites that are indexed well lead to accurate search results. Accurate search results improve the service Google can provide its users and in turn improves business. You can apply the same logical train of thought to your customers and/or target market.

2. Meta Tags

Titles and descriptions continue to be critical elements in the indexing process. It’s in your best interest as well as Google’s to provide accurate descriptions to your web pages. While Google will only display up to about 155 characters in its search result and will only crawl about 200 characters, it’s also important not to leave your description too short. I’ve seen many cases in which the user’s description was so short, Google bots decided to use alternative texts instead. The website builders were then surprised to discover irrelevant texts or texts they hadn’t planned on using as descriptions spearheading their search results.

3. Website Loading Time

While I haven’t mentioned this criteria before it is based on the same principles as the rest of Google indexing doctrine. If your website takes a long time to load, its reasonable enough to assume that this will frustrate a certain percentage of users who will then leave the site by backtracking or by giving up on the search altogether. This affects the site’s usability and therefore also the website’s ranking in Google. So next time you upload pictures with the Wix website builder, make sure they aren’t heavy, large sized images that will make it really hard for the page to load.

4. Refreshing Content

The new caffeine algorithm is expected to give greater weight to websites that are being constantly refreshed and updated with new content. This means that websites that have not been touched for a while will lose their ranking. This is a logical progression as it stands to reason that if a website has not been updated for a while, it has either been abandoned or has become outdated and therefore lost relevancy. Once again Google proves, that what is good for Google is good for you.

5. Quality Linking

Anybody who deals with SEO knows there are high quality links and low quality links and everything in the middle. If this is the first time you’re hearing this I recommend that you read a few of the earlier posts in this blog on links. From now on, quality links will not be the only factor. This means that even if you have a link to your website from a great site with a fantastic page rank, unless the content of your site is relevant to the source site and unless the link is organic, or a so called ‘natural link’, it will have less importance in determining your ranking and indexing. The same goes for outgoing links. If you send a link out to a great website with a high page rank, make sure that website is relevant to yours, otherwise you’re simply wasting potent linking juice.

Well that’s it for today folks. I guess all we can do is stay put and wait expectantly for the new caffeine algorithm to kick in so we can all have some fun!

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