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Google Caffeine Update

by on 11/24/09 at 3:49 am

Thanks to Mike McDonald we’re privileged to have a video interview with Matt Cutts, Google Quality Engineer who indirectly shares 3 extremely valuable search engine optimization factors you should be aware of that could prevent loss of ranking with the upcoming Google Caffeine update.

Mike asked Matt to put the algorithm change into perspective (to summarize what Google Caffeine is all about). Matt says specifically, “Fundamentally, it’s a rewriting of our indexing system. A good way to think about Caffeine is that it’s essentially rearchitecting or rewriting a large chunk of how we index pages.” The goal of Caffeine has little to do with ranking and more to do with the speed of the Googlebot in terms of crawling, the speed at which pages are indexed, and the speed at which pages are served to the user.

Ha! No wonder my visit to http://www2.sandbox.google.com/ several weeks ago I could not for the life of me discover even one instance of a ranking change for any of my or my clients’ websites.

3 SEO Strategies for Google Caffeine

  1. Once Caffeine is fully launched, Google will be able to crawl and index content much faster. This means that having a road map on your website to help Googlebot get to every page quickly is more important than ever. I recommend having an updated sitemap.xml (or compressed sitemap.gz) submitted to Google Webmaster Tools as quickly as possible. Guide Googlebot to this page during each and every crawl by having the following line at the end of your robots.txt file: Sitemap:http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. Having a site map page on your website with keyword-rich links will help Google understand the content on your website, so don’t forget to include this page as well. Sitemap.xml, check, site-map.html, check.
  2. Next, Matt alluded to the fact that semantics, tags, rich snippets, real-time data and additional content will now also be included in the indexing and serving of content. We tag videos, images, music, blog posts, Twitter lists, bookmarks, and just about everything now. Simple tagging of all your content following some basic principles could help get your content indexed where you want it to be and beyond. A tag should include the content’s specific topic, the category of the topic, and maybe a subcategory, at a bare minimum. For example: nike turbo shox shoe blue, shoes, footwear, apparel.
  3. Matt says not to worry about site architecture, but then says “if you have a really good site architecture, you won’t have much to worry about.” Okay. To me that means, “if your site architecture sucks, your making might too.” Get your folder tree in check by using Bruce Clay’s siloing technique and you should be just fine. If you have over 50,000 pages of content, email me and I’ll share my knowledge of robust taxonomy.

I Repeat: Caffeine Isn’t a Ranking Update

Here’s the post at MattCutts.com where Matt actually discusses Caffeine: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/caffeine-update/

Most of the changes are in things like our core indexing, so there’s less changes for things like rankings. Lots of users won’t notice a big difference.

pavs and McMohan, we’re not looking to make huge changes in ranking with this new infrastructure. Some rankings will change, but that’s not the main thrust of the infrastructure.

Google Caffeine Update Summary

Your ranking won’t change after the update. Websites that offer Googlebot easier access to your file list, include content tagging and additional meta data, and have a solid site architecture will start to see improvements in ranking as they push new content out and/or optimize existing content with these attributes.

Thanks again to Mike McDonald – we love you man, great interview!

One Comment

Atlanta homes

Feb 14th, 2010

Hey Steve, this is an awesome article and I have shot out some links to it. Thanks for helping everyone get started on figuring out the caffeine changes.

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