Google tweaks its search algorithm 600 times a year, in fact Google execs meet twice a week to discuss the search facility that so many careers and lives have come to depend on. The slightest change in Google search means a drastic change for SEO firms and the businesses that rely on them to optimise their sites for the web. Last week Google announced that it was finally implementing the long awaited ‘Caffeine’ concept, a completely new way of looking at ‘search’.
Real Time Google Indexing
The Caffeine concept will utilise real-time indexing. Currently users search results are compared to a version of the internet that is often 2-weeks old, the Google Caffeine method will mean user searches are compared to a current version of the web. Google is responding to growing user impatience, people want what they are looking for immediately rather than having to sieve through unwanted results first. Google admits that expectations have grown and they intend to remain responsive.
Give Me What I Want Not What I Typed
Vice President of Google Engineering, Udi Manber, stated in a recent interview, “You have to understand users and content and match the two”, “But search is ‘give me what I need not what I said’. And the way people express themselves is often very different from what they need”. Subsequently Google is on a mission to find out what people want, not what they actually typed in.
So How Will This Affect The SEO Industry?
SEO targets what people type into a search, SEO experts carry out extensive keyword research to uncover what people are searching for, they then optimize a website based on this criteria. But if Google is trying to interpret what a user means, the search results displayed will be different to those anticipated by SEO experts. In short, page rankings will change for particular keyword phrases and the SEO industry will have to adapt the way in which keyword research is carried out. One fundamental difference made by Google Caffeine will be that Social Media posts, Twitter, Facebook etc, will become a more common search results feature; this is because the real-time nature of social networking will work handsomely with the real time ethos of Google Caffeine.
Google’s Biggest Challenge
The one big problem Google faces is finding a mathematical model for language. Google ranking team head Amit Singal explained recently; “When it comes to human language understanding we are still at the toddler stage,” “But over the next ten years we will attain the level of an eight or nine year old. We’ll be able to perfect experiences we don’t fully trust today”. That means speech recognition that works, and putting databases together so that they play nicely”
It could be a while before Google Caffeine is in full swing, but SEO experts and SEO firms alike must carefully monitor these changes and be aware that the face of ‘search’ is rapidly evolving to better serve the user.