Touted as the SEO killer [see: Is Google Caffeine the SEO Killer], Google Caffeine is an update to the Google system that has been designed to increased the speed with which results are generated and improve relevance once they arrive. Any significant overhaul of Google has to be taken seriously, but how much it will actually affect SEO and the current rankings is anybody’s guess.
Google are famous for drip feeding information about changes to their algorithm. Matt Cutts is often the one to spread the good and bad news to the wider search community; however, in this instance, Caffeine appears to have been kept largely under wraps.
For anybody who is fearing a sudden drop in rankings as a result of the overhaul, you can rest a little easy, at least until the beginning of 2010 at least. Matt Cutts announced that Caffeine is indeed coming, but that it won’t coincide with the holiday season, meaning any bumper Christmas traffic won’t be lost.
With the Vince algorithm update also in the pipeline this is certainly a time for all SEOs to be keeping their ear close to the floor. The rolling out of Caffeine should improve the quality of searches, which can only be a good thing, so it ought to be treated with a cautious optimism rather than outright trepidation. For those who remain unconvinced, you might want to read ‘Google Updates: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Carry on Optimising’.