Unless you are in-tune with the search engine community, you may have missed Google’s announcement of their new prototype search architecture (fancy way of saying code and servers). It’s a bit too much detail for most, so here is a summary straight from the source:
For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google’s web search. It’s the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.
In a very un-Googley move, the search giant opened up a preview of the new system before they launch it as the primary google.com search engine. There is no way to know which enhancements will make the final cut, but it’s safe to say that there will be a lot more speculation and testing from the search community before the final verdict is cast. For now, use search comparison tools like CompareCaffeine.com to see if your site behaves differently in the new search.
How to Shake the Jitters
1. Get Social
Despite the glut of marketers blasting their messages on social networks and social media sites these days, it can still be an effective communications channel for companies that are willing and able to engage in a meaningful dialogue with fans and critics alike. A thoughtful social media strategy includes both active and passive involvement in online communities, along with the creation of value for the consumer. Don’t just rush into the latest social site du jour. Define your objectives first, then figure out which technologies and communities will help you accomplish them.
2. Update Frequently
The Caffeine architecture seems to favor more real-time indexing. For non-geeks, that means that Google is placing a premium on fresher content. This doesn’t just mean social media sites, but can also include company blogs, resource sections, Q&A content, or any other piece of content on your website that can be (and should be) updated frequently.
3. Observe the Signs
Keep an eye on your site analytics. Watch for anomalies or deviations from your normal traffic patterns as Caffeine is integrated into the main Google platform. Some key indicators are:
- visits by keyword
- average time spent on site
- average page views per visit
- goal/conversion rates
The Last Drop
Most early reports from the search community are finding that rankings are not changing dramatically with the Caffeine update. Smart search marketers don’t spend too much time worrying about rankings anyway.
Instead, watch your traffic and conversion metrics for more pure signs of success. You will be rewarded in the long run by focusing on creating valuable content that helps your visitors accomplish their tasks.