Google has given the world a preview of its new search architecture, which has been codenamed “Caffeine”.
Promised to be faster, more accurate and more comprehensive than previous incarnations of Google’s index (or those of its competitors), Caffeine has been given an initial sandbox release to let power users try the update before its full roll-out.
Although Google is hailing the Caffeine update as a pretty radical improvement, it says that as the user interface will be staying the same, most regular users will not notice the difference.
“Right now, we only want feedback on the differences between Google’s current search results and our new system,” said Google engineers on a company blog posting.
Despite rumours that the update is a response to Microsoft’s recently launched Bing search engine, Google insist the new architecture has been in the pipeline for some time and is the result of an extended development period.
“I love competition in search and want lots of it, but this change has been in the works for months,” commented Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam.
Google is well-known for its fast-paced development and busy release schedule; the main search algorithms are being constantly refined and adapted. Recently, major changes such as how the engine treats PageRank have gone unnoticed by the search community for months.
The Caffeine update is indicative of how highly Google rates the important of new web content; it has already made efforts to introduce more Twitter updates into its search results and Caffeine should see more “real-time” stories being quickly indexed.
“Caffeine now picks up news stories and puts fresher content higher up the search results,” explained Alex Watson of Custom PC magazine.
- At the time of writing the Caffeine sandbox is offline for database maintenance.