Caffeine, what was once just a sandbox at Google for those who have too much time on their hands, take SEO as the word of god or write about this sort of thing is ready to stream into the veins of the internet after the holidays.
Google's Matt Cutts game Webpronews some high energy info about the upcoming update. He says it will start out in just one data center and they will continue to monitor and accumulate data. Then sometime after the holidays it will begin running through the pipe and filtering into the other data centers.
What Caffeine is, is a new set of search algorithms that shift the weight around in some major areas. It's a rewrite of the indexing system and it should serve much faster. It also includes real-time search. They state this is as large as the Big Daddy update from 2005/06.
He said there shouldn't be a huge change in the search results and so low value sites shouldn't suddenly surge to the front lines of the search results and begin battling with high value, good content sites according to Matt.
It's really going for more power, more flexibility and better indexing. It's also a strong foundation for them to work on better indexing now. They didn't really look at it from a real-time or a semantics standpoint. It's more of a jumping off point for further power upgrades to the search and indexing.
What does it mean for us in the video world? It's been stated that video results were being downplayed but our own Jeremy Scott played with the system and said he didn't see much of a difference. You can read his thoughts there and I won't rehash them.
Caffeine has been in the works for some time and was truly tested over the summer. But they don't want site owners to freak out and worry about it so it won't be fully realized until 2010. What could it mean for you as a video site owner? It could, worst case scenario, drop you off the front page of search results. But that being said, it could equally catapult you onto the first page of results as well. Google wanted to assure everyone that there won't be major shakeups in the overall results. I wonder if it's because it might cause a panic and triple the holiday suicide rate for the year. With the economy still crap and the holidays coming round it's going to be a bad enough time for many industries anyway. We don't need Google injecting us all with too much caffeine which results in the shakes and poor judgments do we?