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by Oliver Ewbank on 9th March 2010
The much feted Google Caffeine update is a little behind schedule, with extensive testing still ongoing. Currently live on just one datacentre, a global release is still a little way off. But could Europe be next to get it?
Whilst discussing the latest news and issues surrounding Google with WebProNews, Matt Cutts suggested (although was at pains to affirm that it wasn’t official) that the next ‘data centre to be hit’ might be Europe. This could well mean that we could finally see what all the fuss is about on these shores.
Caffeine represents a new and improved Google. It relies on exceptionally quick data centres providing results almost instantaneously. But it isn’t just about faster results. Indexing and crawling are also getting turbo-charged. There’s no visible change for those visiting Google, just a more comprehensive list of results in double-quick time.
The initial tests were announced back in November of last year [see: Google to Get a Caffeine Boost...Soon], so Google have been very cautious in how they have rolled it out. Not without good reason either. Major changes such as this take time to mature. Bugs need to be ironed out and user issues addressed. Google has a host of search engines (well, YaBing) waiting to pounce should Caffeine fail. So getting it right is a priority.
Details about the specifics of the update remain sketchy though. So whilst we might be the guinea pigs, we won’t know what we can really expect until it arrives.
In the 30 minute interview, site speed was also discussed. This isn’t a part of the caffeine update, but will be a ranking factor soon. Matt Cutts allayed any fears that it will mean a wholesale change to their ranking structure; with fast sites at the top and slow ones at the bottom. So whilst page load time will have a bearing on positions, it certainly won’t cause any major shifts. Just one more thing to consider for site owners.
With Caffeine on the horizon, this will be a challenging time for SEO professionals. Whilst nobody expects massive shifts in rankings as a result, it may require new and innovative techniques to ensure there is no slippage. The landscape may be changing, but very gradually. But keep an eye out for changes in your search results and rankings over the coming weeks; they may well be Caffeinated.