Google Caffeine ready to give SEOs heart palpitations
Google has announced that its latest update, Caffeine, is ready to go live, and will shortly start rolling out across its datacentres.
Caffeine is the first major update to Google since the Big Daddy update caused such chaos a few years ago. Caffeine is almost a complete rebuild of the Google indexing system, and is intended to improve speed; both speed of indexing and speed of delivery, and Google expects a considerable improvement in the "freshness" of results, particularly in the news sector, and this was born out in the results from the developers "sandbox" version that was opened for testing in August.
Google don't expect us to see too much change in search positions (but they said that about Big Daddy too!), but realistically we can expect to see quite a bit of fluctuation in results while Caffeine rolls out.
As always, Google is keeping things a bit quiet about what changes its made to the indexing algorithms, but results from the sandbox suggest that there is slightly more emphasis on keywords on the page, and also on the inclusion of thematically related terms, which is all good from the point of improving relevancy over popularity, but until we see results coming from Caffeine its will be difficult to assess.
Our advice is to keep your nerve and wait for the dust to settle over the next couple of months before starting to worry about changes to your positions.