Google has unveiled a new version of its search engine which it says will be faster and more accurate than ever before.
The upgrade, which insiders have dubbed “caffeine”, is intended to replace the technology giant’s main search engine after tests have been completed.
Although little about the surface appearance of the new version has changed, engineers promised that radical changes behind the scenes would vast improvements for ordinary users.
“For the past several months a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google’s web search,” said the company in a statement on one of its blogs.
“It’s the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.”
The company claims that significant changes to the way the system works will improve the experience for users – although it will also send shockwaves through search engine marketing companies who try and optimise their results to appear higher up in Google’s index.
The move comes despite Google’s extensive lead in the search engine market – a domination which has provided it with billions in profits.
Despite that lead, a series of threats have emerged recently that have seen the company redouble its efforts. Chief among them is Microsoft’s continuing effort to break into the top tier of the search business, which has so far included rebranding its search engine as Bing.com and scoring a deal to take control of Yahoo’s search business.
Other possible contenders for the future of the business have emerged, too, including a “knowledge engine” called Wolfram Alpha, designed by British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram; and the emergence of so-called “real-time search” through websites like Facebook and Twitter.
Caffeine allows Google to index the web at a higher pace – gathering more information and doing it faster – but the company’s search quality specialist, Matt Cutts, rejected claims that it was developed in response to the actions of rivals.
“I love competition in search and want lots of it, but this change has been in the works for months,” he wrote on his blog. I think the best way for Google to do well in search is to continue what we’ve done for the last decade or so: focus relentlessly on pushing our search quality forward.”
Whether the upgrade will have a significant impact on Google’s business has yet to emerge, but Martin McNulty, director of search marketing specialist Trafficbroker, said that it could give it a significant boost.
“Google’s Caffeine is undoubtedly faster, almost twice as fast at times. It’s like a Google Gti,” he said. “The launch of Bing has been a good thing, although unfortunately more for Google than Bing if the level of innovation continues at this frantic pace. Google is still very much in the driving seat and is still setting the pace.”
While the Google changes may not be noticeable to the average user, Google’s search engine results are expected to be faster and offered on a real-time platform. Although search rankings will unlikely be unaffected by the update, sites that lack new content could potentially lose ground on Google. This change is something that search engine marketing companies need to be aware of to properly deliver a quality service to their clients.
Fresh and regular content therefore, is the key to surviving this Google update. Search engine marketing companies will be increasingly stressing the importance of using social networking, blogs, press releases and other real-time avenues to promote businesses online.
We accredit The Guardian for the inspiration for this article.