Saturday, June 26, 2010

Google Mayday, Caffeine Boost or Total FLOP!

It's been a little over a month now that Google released it's Caffeine update otherwise known as Google "Mayday". Having been a little surprised by some of the search results and updates that were done with this major update to Google's look and feel and it's algorithms, I decided to give it a while before commenting.
Now that the algorithms have settled according to Matt Cutts, I can start telling you why I think this Google update is a total FLOP!

Being an SEO company whose clientel base are mostly South African companies, we've seen a massive drop in search volume across board. The reason being, well Google has decided to take away the "pages from south africa" search option from the home page. WHY??????

Problems with this:
1. Online users in South Africa, still don't follow global search trends. Generic search terms are more widely used, long tail is not wide spread hence this becomes a problem. Why?

a. People when shopping search for "batman dvd box set".
b. People when looking for a service search for "insurance brokers".


This means, without a local search option from the home page, the first search results you will get from Google is a mixture of LOCAL and GLOBALLY (well seo'd) sites.

This is poor show for Google, people will start getting irritated, those that don't mind will either see the "pages from south africa" search on the left side, or advanced users will try something along the lines of a localised search query i.e. "batman dvd box set shopping site south africa".

This once again poses a problem for South African companies and majority of SEO companies in South Africa, actually haven't a clue as to how to SEO, which means corporate companies are going to be paying through their ASSES for SEO and not be found...

And this means South Africans are goign to get CRAP results.
2. People in South Africa when searching for products, services, shopping etc don't want pages that are out of South Africa, why would they?

My first example "batman dvd box set" gives 10 sites - NOT ONE OF WHICH is a South African shopping site?????? This means, that majority of South Africans will follow the process of buying the DVD boxset from an overseas site, wasting their time when they find out they have to pay more for shipping from Amazon than the actual product price itself. (BING, here's your chance to takeover localised search)

So, If you ask me!!! For localised search (which was meant to be the way forward) Google's taken a step backwards. REMEMBER, the rest of the world has not had the search volume or the infrastructure in place to become advanced internet users. I hope Google reads this!!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Google New Search Index : Caffeine

Today, Google announced the completion of a new web indexing system called Caffeine. Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than their last index, and it's the largest collection of web content they offered. Whether it's a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before.

Some background for those of you who don't build search engines for a living like Google: when you search Google, you're not searching the live web. Instead you're searching Google's index of the web which, like the list in the back of a book, helps you pinpoint exactly the information you need. (Here's a good explanation of how it all works.) Google indexed the World Wide Web for you to make it easier for you to find things!

So why did they build a new search indexing system? Content on the web is blossoming. It's growing not just in size and numbers but with the advent of video, images, news and real-time updates, the average web page is richer and more complex. In addition, people's expectations for search are higher than they used to be. Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish.

To keep up with the evolution of the web and to meet rising user expectations, they built Caffeine. The image below illustrates how the old indexing system worked compared to Google Caffeine:
The old index had several layers, some of which were refreshed at a faster rate than others; the main layer would update every couple of weeks. To refresh a layer of the old index, they would analyze the entire web, which meant there was a significant delay between when Google found a page and made it available to you.

With Caffeine, Google analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As Google find new pages, or new information on existing pages, Google can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before — no matter when or where it was published it now becomes available quicker than ever!.

Caffeine lets Google index web pages on an enormous scale. In fact, every second Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel. If this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second. Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database and adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day. You would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information; if these were stacked end-to-end they would go for more than 40 miles.

Google built Caffeine with the future in mind. Not only is it fresher, it's a robust foundation that makes it possible for Google to build an even faster and comprehensive search engine that scales with the growth of information online, and delivers even more relevant search results to you. So stay tuned, and look for more improvements in the months to come!

Original Article By Google