Feb 11 2010

Is Google Caffeine a Search Rank game changer?

Category: organic seoTom Shivers


Google’s algo changes on a frequent basis, most of the time without warning. Why Google changes the way they rank search results so often is likely due to business objectives (keeping investors happy), trying to keep up their image as an innovator and manager of the web’s information amidst a host of competitors (Facebook, Twitter, Bing, Yelp, etc.), fighting spam, and providing relevant search results. It’s rare that Google informs everyone about upcoming changes to their algo (as they did with Caffeine), unless it helps them achieve one of their many objectives. In my opinion, Google wanted plenty of user feedback before they launched Caffeine.

What’s your opinion, why did Google make Caffeine a publicity event? Answer in the comments below.

Here’s what Google tells us about Caffeine, in a nutshell:
It’s a fundamental big change but most users won’t notice a difference while power users will notice small changes. It’s a lot more powerful, more flexible and more robust in how we index. It allows us to scale up to a lot more documents but also allows indexing of those documents a lot faster. It’s not so much about real time or semantic search as it is about getting real good infrastructure in place so we can run it quickly.

According to Matt Cutts, for most sites the page speed factor won’t trump the many other relevance and trust indicators Google is looking for. But, it can improve rank if speed is the only difference between sites competing for the top spot.

So, before you jump at optimizing your site for page speed, it makes more sense to consider these things first.

1. Deal with the real intent of your target audience on your website

  • What purpose does someone have for using this search term?
  • Resist the temptation to push your brand names and industry buzz words and instead create web content that captures the intent of your target audience

2. Engage the individual so they want to learn more and discover a credible organization in the process

  • Rather than assuming your customers buy for certain reasons, research your customers to find out what actually motivated them to buy and then prepare content that sits in their decision process
  • Consider what type of web communication medium is best with this individual: video, articles, white papers, music, pictures, interactive tools, social media or a combination
  • Explore new ways of engaging and educating online prospects even if they are naïve about your industry or brand

3. Organize the content of your site so that users and search engines quickly find what they are looking for even if it doesn’t match your brand name initiatives perfectly.

4. Influence the influencers of your target audience to be enthusiastic about your organization. Be open to share, collaborate and build relationships online and beyond, even with competitors, to creatively engage your online audience.

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