I'm special, so special.
I got to have some of your attention, give it to me!
~Pretenders, Brass in Pocket
Ah the games companies play trying so hard to get our attention. For the last 6 weeks or so Microsoft has done a fine job of turning the media attention machine on itself, so you just knew that there was no way Google was going to sit still while Bing stole the spotlight. Uh-uh, no way - there was something coming. You could just feel it - and we're not talking about buying On2 last week. That may interest some video geeks, but it doesn't warrant mainstream attention like say changing the way you run your search engine.
Competition breeds innovation and the change cycle is fast and furious. I'm talking of course about Caffeine, the new search algorithm introduced by Google this week. Oh yes, this is definitely a call for attention. Got mine.
What's This All About
Google announced on Monday it was releasing an entirely new way to crawl and index the web. In their own words:
For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google's web search. It's the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.
Don't you love the weight of those words. Can't you feel how big it is? It's huge right? We have to pay attention don't we? Of course we do. This is Google after all and they are changing the way they rank sites. If you aren't paying attention to this you could get lost in the search results. Don't think it can't happen. In fact, it happened to me the last time that Google made a major change to the way it indexes web site.
If You're Not in Google, You Don't Exist
About 2.5 years ago, Google changed the way they index sites and my by Ron Miller blog got lost in the process. I wrote about it in a post called Google Removed Me from the Index and It's Like I Don't Exist. As I wrote at the time, I watched as my traffic dwindled day by agonizing day until it was down to a trickle. It turned out that Google had released a new ranking algorithm, they dubbed Jagger and many blogs and sites were removed from the index. This change could have a similar dynamic, so you should test your sites to find out.
Google has been working on this for a while. It didn't just pop this out the chute to have a convenient answer to Microsoft, but the timing is certainly good. Google wants some attention and if you announce a new way of indexing on the world's most popular search engine, you are certainly going to get some. Just beware because this Caffeine could come with a kick so watch your web site and make sure you still exist.