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.