Video Search Queries In The Google Caffeine Sandbox

I've been playing around with the just-announced Google Caffeine sandbox ( - which is down for "system maintenance" at the moment), trying to discover any subtle differences I can find between it and the current live engine.  There aren't many.  A lot of people in the SEO realm have weighed in with their initial thoughts; I thought I'd add my own.

I stuck mostly to video-related queries, since that's what we talk about here at, and the verdict is... it's about the same.

Sticking with current video-related topics, I first chose to search "wedding dance video" on both the live version of Google and the new testing playground version.  I went with current events and trends for my testing, because I figured those were the most likely queries to see significant movement in the rankings.  First I searched "wedding dance," (referring, of course, to the JK Wedding Video hit) and here are the results from the live version of Google:

Live Google results for "wedding dance video":

Video Search Queries In The Google Caffeine Sandbox

And now the Caffeine results for the same query:

Video Search Queries In The Google Caffeine Sandbox

So, of the actual videos that appear in the first page results, all five are still there in the Caffeine version, though the ordering is slightly different.  The biggest change is the ABC story about the JK Wedding Video that is in third on the live results but not even on the first page of the test engine results.  Interesting.

I then tested a variety of other video-related searches, with largely the same outcome.  The core results are the same, with some minor reordering.  For example, a search for "michael Jackson”  shows a few differences—most notably the universal search images halfway down the results on the live page, which aren't on the testing version at all.

Live Google results for "michael jackson":

Video Search Queries In The Google Caffeine Sandbox

Caffeine results for "michael jackson":

Video Search Queries In The Google Caffeine Sandbox

Overall... the same results.

Not surprising, really, when Google themselves have said that "most users won't notice a difference in search results.

It's worth noting that, from my admittedly unscientific testing, the results with Caffeine do indeed look remarkably like the live results… just as Google claims (see Matt Cutts' FAQ).  This update has been billed, after all, as more of an "under the hood" change than one that's likely to change the results much.  It's more about how the nuts and bolts go together inside, and about the speed of results served, than, say, a major algorithmic change that dramatically alters your site's position.

It's obviously far too early for any substantial review of how the rankings might change, and there's still a ton of testing to be done.  I look forward to reading the many opinions that are sure to come.

But video producers can probably rest easy; your ranks are probably going to stay the same.

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Posted in Video Search, Video SEO
About the Author -
Jeremy Scott is the founder of The Viral Orchard, an Internet marketing firm offering content writing and development services, viral marketing consulting, and SEO services. Jeremy writes constantly, loves online video, and enjoys helping small businesses succeed in any way he can. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • traviscampbell

    Thanks for putting this together complete with screenshots. Very useful to see how Google Caffeine is serving results pages for video and other media on content sharing sites. It will be interesting to see what the end up enabling in production.

    I referenced this article in the latest post at

    Keep it rollin;'!