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SCIENCE Business

Google gives search engine a 'Caffeine' boost

Text by Sébastian SEIBT

Latest update : 2009-08-12

Internet giant Google has launched the test version of its new search engine, dubbed Caffeine. Though there is no major change to the interface, Google hopes it will help it retain its edge over a new breed of challengers.

The search engine behemoth Google launched the test version of its much-hyped Caffeine version on May 11. Matt Cutts, an engineer who worked on the project, explained on his official site, “The Caffeine update isn’t about making some UI [user interface]  changes here or there. This update is primarily under the hood: we’re rewriting the foundation of some of our infrastructure.”

On Google’s official blog, the initial comments alternate between “I am really excited by this new version” and “I don’t really see any big differences.”


Happy news for site engine optimisers

Industry blog Tech.Blorge pointed out that with 70% of the market share, it would be pointless to bring out something seemingly radical like Bing – a competing site from Microsoft. So what is the goal of the Google changes? Speed, the number of results produced in a search, and the rankings that appear on the first search page. This latter development will prove especially important for those who pay particular attention to their site's placement. The blog says that the new version lowers Wikipedia entries in a given search, “which should make many SEOs [site engine optimisers] happy.”

This year, signs of serious competitors to Google reared their head. After launching Bing, Microsoft entered a partnership with Yahoo!  Meanwhile, the social networking platform Twitter developed a search engine that can boast of one strong advantage over Google: its ability to prioritise the newest listings.

Google has always been good about ignoring lurking threats. They underscored that their team had been working on Caffeine “for many months” before Bing was released, perhaps wishing to give the impression that they did not scramble to develop Caffeine to face the new competition. But the timing of Google’s announcement, coming several weeks after the Microsoft-Yahoo! announcement, seems a bit too coincidental.

Date created : 2009-08-12