SEO Ranking Upset By Google Caffeine

A shot of Google Caffeine

Google Caffeine… just the name may spark worry. It seems every time Google comes up with something new, rankings bob up and down like a sinker on a fishing line with a hundred-pounder on the hook. I’ve always wanted to use a fishing metaphor with SEO…There I said it.=

So, what’s Google Caffeine? What’s it doing to your website? What part of your SEO campaign do you have to change this time to make up for the waves in Internet Land?

Relax. It’s not as bad as you may fear, but it is a healthy wakeup call for webmasters and SEOs alike. Now, optimizers at least, have known Caffeine was coming and some have already changed their strategies to account for it. For webmasters doing their own SEO, however, here’s your heads-up.

What’s Google Caffeine?

Google Caffeine could aptly be called a search engine structural overhaul. See, when you’re searching the Internet, you’re not getting all the pages that are currently on the Internet for your term. Search engines are indexes; how old the results are that you get depends on how fast the search engine refreshes its index. Up until Caffeine, the Google index has been plodding along, constantly a week or two behind.

Now, search engine companies are a competitive bunch. You’ve probably read about the big three, which is now (basically) the big two: Google and Bing/Yahoo (Bingoo?). So, Google did what Google does and took a step to improve their search engine by introducing a dose of energy: Google Caffeine.

Google Caffeine really is a shot of energy, or indexing speed, to the big daddy search engine. Its indexing is umpteen times faster than before and providing fresher, more relevant results – or so the marketing says…

Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before.” (You can read the full release about Google Caffeine on the Official Google Blog)

Egads! Sounds official – what’s that mean for my rankings?

Don’t panic. For the most part, your rankings will do what they always do: go down when you don’t SEO and go up when you do. However, if you reread the quote above, you’ll notice a word used twice: content.

What Google Caffeine ultimately means for you is more competition for your content. If you’ve noticed, Google indexes videos, blogs, twitter, articles, news and images. Your content has to compete with all types of content, not just with similar content.

As well, it’s refreshing the index faster, which means – more competition for your content. You’re not just competing with new content, but with old content that’s still relevant and being linked to. With Google Caffeine updating the index on a continual basis, it’ll be a bit harder to rank based on a few blogs here and there.

I’m doing well with my SEO and I want to stay that way. What do I do?

We’ve always said, “Content is King”, and we’ll say it again. Content IS king. Even more so now, you can’t afford to let your content creation fall by the wayside.

If you want to stay in the rankings, you have to admit the possibility that your competitors want to do the same. You have to admit that maybe, just maybe, you aren’t the only one building links and optimizing your pages. You also have to admit – at least to yourself – that the one thing you really have above your competitors (besides a superior product or service, of course), is the quality of content you provide your visitors.

Many webmasters, when faced with the possibility of keeping up with content demands, decide it really isn’t that big a deal. Here’s your warning, given with all sincerity and concern we have for our readers and clients: you can’t afford to think that if you want to stay in the search engine results. Build your SEO content, keep building your content, and always make sure it’s top quality.

About Jahnelle Pittman

All around SEO coding geek; AKA "Editing Bulldog" A true geek with a heart of code and SEO, I'm the Senior Project Manager of Level343 and Head of the SEO Department. They call me the "Editing Bulldog" - I'm pretty sure I'm the editing nightmare of writers everywhere, waving a pen across every document in the search for perfect client deliverables. When not buried in paperwork, I'm happily buried in website code, SEO research or playing with my kids.


  1. It seems like that Google have been pushing for content quality ever since last year. Now, i think they had perfected their algorithm because when Google panda update was implemented, there were a lot of sites that were affected especially those who practiced black hat SEO. Today, Google favors site that are fresh and content quality. They also added mandatory pages like About Us, Contact Us and term and conditions in order to get better rankings in their search engine.

  2. Thanks for providing another fine piece of work.


  3. Updating your website content and feeding your visitors with fresh and informative articles are just some of the ways to keep up with indexing criteria of Google Caffeine. With the emergence of Google Caffeine, social content optimization has taken an entirely new meaning for your website optimization. Google is clearly driving you towards organic SEO to deliver better content and more relevant results to its visitors.

    Wonderful insight!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh, thank you for saying ‘make sure it’s top quality.’ and not ‘make sure it’s quality.’ !!

  5. Thanks for the comment, Kyle. We’ll be keeping an eye on the changes Caffeine has for our clients, readers and friends and keep you updated. And yes, content writing can be tedious, but you do what you have to do if you want to stay on top of the ever-changing SERPs!

  6. Sounds like a lot of new work is going to need to be done to maintain rankings; content writing can be very tedious depending on the nature of the website. Thanks for this information though, I was unsure how caffeine was going to affect my websites.

  7. I agree I like the new changes… It’s a bit irritating when you think you can finally look at analysis with SOME idea of what you are doing then Bada Bing Bada Bang Google comes in & (fill in the blank) ;) Maybe it’s time you had a Tête à tête with the non-profit. Sometimes it takes someone like you, that cares to help the client along. You rock Joshua… Punto. Basta.

  8. When I heard about Caffeine going live I got pretty excited for the company I work inhouse for, and a little scared for a side project. The place I work for adds around 5-6 pages of new content a day. Which is GREAT for us. On the flip side, the non-profit I work with hasn’t really been adding content. BUT we’ve got a plan to integrate a blog by way of testimonials every other day, so hopefully that will help out. I really think Caffeine is a good thing, but as with most updates, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes up with a way to manipulate it then everything changes….AGAIN!


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