Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 14:36 Written by Joe Rebis Thursday, 17 December 2009 16:00
As many of you know Google Caffeine is already rolling its way across data centers and will culminate to full deployment sometime after the holidays. Google Caffeine is a new indexing structure for Google and aims to improve the user’s searching experience by serving up new and more relevant search results. New “weight” will be placed upon certain key website elements to better rank websites and take emphasis off of other elements. Ideally, this will produce better, more accurate, search results. It’s speculated that improvements to Yahoo and especially Bing, which may be taking away some of the search traffic, is the reason behind the change.
For people who have been updating their websites regularly with fresh original content, and generally maintaining their website, there is little more that can be done aside from putting more emphasis on the key factors below. However, if you have been slacking a bit in publishing new content or using black-hat SEO techniques you may be due for a rude awaking. Content that’s not updated relatively frequently Google MAY consider abandoned or just plain outdated and rank you differently. No doubt Google would like to shack out websites using black-hat techniques.
An industry expert put it this way to me… If you have been practicing good clean SEO techniques and have been actively working on your website there is nothing to worry about. All of the same SEO techniques apply.
Here is a rundown of some of the expected changes. Some have been verified as accurate and some as speculation. A quick rundown on Natural Search Engine Listings can be found here.
1) Improved Indexing Speed and Depth: Based on an interview I watched featuring Matt Cutts, a widely known Google Engineer, he stated that Caffeine should help Google index more pages faster. This may mean a focus on real-time results. This may also mean that previously UN-indexed data may be uncovered. It could mean they won’t bother with slow pages and skip over them to get to more content.
2) Continued Emphasis on FRESH & ORIGINAL Content:This is really nothing new but apparently more emphasis will be placed on content. You should strive to achieve a few paragraphs of original content on each page. The content should be relevant to the product or service and targeted to your visitors. You should continue to develop additional content including video, audio, blogs, forums, press releases and start considering content for mobile devices. Your content should be brought up-to-date regularly and this should be reflected in your XML sitemaps. People (and Google) want current information- not outdated information from a year ago.
4) META Title and Description: If you are not doing this already you have got some serious catching up to do. Web pages should have a unique descriptive META Tile tag (under 20 words) and a full sentence description in your META description tag. The title and description should pertain TO THAT PAGE and keeping within the overall theme of your website. Yes, you should have a META keywords tag too, while less or no emphasis has been placed upon that tag in recent years it’s still vital to have it. Your keywords should be relevant to that page, and should contain keyword phrases in order the most specific to the most general. However, don’t overdo it by repeating too many of the keywords.
5) Highly Targeted Links (Incoming, Outgoing, Internal):A login time factor in getting ranked in Google has been in obtaining incoming links from websites with relevant content to your own. It’s unlikely this will disappear with Google Caffeine but will likely close the gap between what is relevant and what is not. So obtaining HIGH QUALITY RELEVENT links to your site will help you earn better ranking, but irrelevant links may hurt substantially. We’ve also heard that outbound links to relevant sites may become more important as well. This isn’t to say that you should run out and add a bunch of links to other sites but it does tell you that Google will be placing more emphasis on where you are linking to and if it’s relevant.
An often forgotten aspect of linking is your internal linking structure. You should work towards consolidating “areas of information” within your site to their own specific directories. Then direct internal links within that “area of information” but not to other “areas of information”. Of course, you’ll need to link to your top level “home” pages, otherwise, you run the risk of orphaning some content. All in all, consider carefully your overall site structure and links.
6) Other Potential Factors: There has been a lot of speculation on the effects of Google Caffeine. Here is a list of some of them based upon comparing old result pages to the developer beta release of Caffeine.
a) Possibly more emphasis on exact match domains.
b) Possibly better understanding of related terms.
c) Possibly considering domain authority (age etc) more.
All in all Google hopes that this won’t shake things up too much and change the SERPS too much. I wouldn’t run around saying the sky is falling but I might consider cracking open the HTML editor and getting some work done on your website.
Google Caffeine Comparision Tool: http://www.comparecaffeine.com/
(May be out-of-date)