Google Caffeine – How It Affects YOU

Google recently announced their new search index with the codename Google Caffeine.

This is not a minor change. It is significant and will affect whether or not sites appear on the first pages of Google search results and how long they stay in the top spots...

Although Google has not stated how they will roll it out,  they have told us that the new algorithm is now working its way through its various data centres.

This means changes will soon start to show. Changes that we need to be aware of...

The Caffeine indexing process is so new that it will surely change the way that web sites strive to get to the top of the Google search engine. 

Many web site owners only ever optimise for one search engine: Google.  These are the sites that are going to be most hit by the new algorithm changes.

So what are the changes that Google is making?

Using Google’s old indexing method, sites were first found by Google bots and then they had to wait to appear amongst the search engine results. 

So you might have found your website on Google by doing a direct search for it (by typing the name of your site and clicking on ‘search’), but you may not have been able to find it by simply typing keywords related to your site (if your site was about the children’s toy Elmo and you typed ‘Elmo’ into Google, your site wouldn't  appear in the search results).

Until now, indexing happened in stages and you sometimes had to wait many months for your site to be found using keywords related to your site, even if you did great SEO work that made your site “Google friendly”.

Despite Google’s reputation as being the best search engine showing the most relevant search results, it was severely criticised during the 911 period.

During this period thousands of people searching for relevant news and information had to fight their way through numerous non relevant sites before they could find the news that they were looking for.

Google Caffeine - The Good News

With the new index, Google Caffeine, Google claims the web will be continually crawled in smaller bite sizes – the concept of “how do you eat an elephant” (one bite at a time) is clearly being followed.

This new technique will allow Google to continually update and produce search results in “real time”.

In theory, searchers’ queries will be relevant and up to date. Ever seen one set of results on Google, clicked the link only to find the results you read on Google were nowhere to be seen? Google aims to make this a thing of the past...

Compare this with the older version of Google search results which could be two or three weeks old, with some information that had not been updated for many months!

Caffeine will update its indexes at an incredible rate, processing hundreds of thousands of web pages, simultaneously, every second.

Google proudly announced that the Caffeine index takes up over 100 million gigabytes of storage space and that the project adds hundreds of thousands of gigabytes of new information each day, so it seems they are in place to deliver on their promises...

It would appear that gone are the old Google days of waiting many months for your new web site to appear in the searches.

Gone are the days of getting different search results, depending upon which of the many data centres you use.  Gone are the theories of the “Google Sandbox” (a theory about a filter that Google is thought to have applied, which filtered new domains to prevent them from reaching top positions in search results).

Now Google is saying that they can bring new information into their index within a very short time.

The old index was slow and often not up to date, the new indexing method is “here, now and supercharged”.

Google Caffeine - The Bad News

Your site may have those precious top search engine spots one day, and be gone the next.

Let’s go back to our Elmo Toy website...

Your Elmo Toy site might be reaching those paying customers one week and gone from sight as soon as there is an influx of news about Elmo Toys!

Just when you want to be popular, newer information and newer web sites knock you off the first few pages.

So the new Caffeine project will change the way you go about your SEO activities.

You may need to continually update your web site to give fresh content.

How can I keep up to speed with Google Caffeine?

  • When Elmo Toy news breaks, make sure that your web site also has this information.
  • Create a buzz on the social sites such as Twitter. Use all the SEO tools to bookmark your site on as many social networking sites as you can.
  • Type the keywords related to your site into Google and see where your site shows, watch out for news on Elmo Toys and be ready to make updates to your site on a regular basis.


Google Caffeine will force many people to update their websites on a regular basis.

If you launch a web site and then leave it, you are more likely to be gradually forced down the Google index until eventually your sites cannot be found any more. 

The news is likely to be good for the end user searching for relevant results, but many site owners will need their regular “caffeine update” to keep their business alive.

The message is clear: if your site is in a market that is constantly changing, your website will need to change with it....

Comments (4)add comment

Judy said:

Thank you for this information. I am new and do
not understand all there is to know about Google. I am trying to learn SEO and am mostly using the wordpress platform for many different types of sites, with different themes.

Your information is valuable and will look
forward to hearing more on this.


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August 13, 2010
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Barry G Russell said:

Good post, Mike, thanks. Seems that, in a nutshell, all Google are really doing is driving website owners towards best practice by rewarding fresh, varied, relevant content. Fair enough.
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August 13, 2010
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Brisbane Web Marketing said:

Hey Mike... Well that isn't quite as scary as I feared... I imagine using automated blog posting/updating is still going to be risky since Google are no doubt looking at that more and more too...
Google news feeds would do well it seems tho as a way of keeping a blog fresh?

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August 14, 2010
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Dwight said:

Good post Mike and great info. Will keep affiliate marketers and bloggers on there toes and at least help others looking for relevant info. to stay current as well.

Dwight Anthony
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August 16, 2010
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