Google to boost speeds with "Caffeine"

Ronny Kerr · December 28, 2009 · Short URL:

Keep an eye out for faster load times in Google search results, or not

Google CaffeineThe holidays are not over just yet: Google has one more special gift lined up for users this holiday season.

To bring in the new year, Google will finally be implementing a new update to its search algorithm, code-named "Caffeine," which is designed to significantly improve the speeds at which search results make it to the user's screen. For searches concerning larger multimedia files, like photos and videos, users will probably notice the biggest difference.

Some people are saying they are already noticing faster load times, even though Google promises that the update won't roll out until after the holidays.

As for the actual results, not too much should be affected, though we can probably expect Google to continue giving more weight to social media. Less than a month ago, Google began including real-time updates (drawn from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter) in its search results. An actual box appears in the results with up-to-the-minute posts fading in and pushing older posts down.

While Google has been extensively testing out "Caffeine" since August (and we have no reason to believe that Google would make a big deal out of a speed update for nothing), a recent survey concludes that users may not notice the speed jolt. Most Web sites are not even optimized to take advantage of the update, according to SEO Marketing firm Irbtrax, which recently performed a random study of 50 business and consumer Web sites.

Still, Google has some serious stakes in its search engine, which has received some slight competition from Microsoft's Bing. Speed plays a central part in which search engine users decide to stick to.

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