Google Caffeine FAQ
Article by George Norman
On 13 Aug 2009
Google, the Mountain View-based company that takes up about 70% of the search market much to the dismay of Microsoft and Yahoo!, has recently made its next generation search technology codenamed Caffeine available to the public as part of a dev preview. Since many of you may have a few questions on the matter, I though it a good idea to pull together all the info available on it at the time and present it as an easily accessible FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). So, here goes.

What is Google Caffeine?
It is the secret project on which Google has been working for the past few months. And to be more precise, it is the next-generation architecture for Google’s web search.

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So it isn’t a rush job spurred by the Microsoft-Yahoo! deal?
Apparently not, since Google has been working on it for months before the deal was announced.

What does Google expect from Caffeine?
According to Principal Software Engineer Matt Cutts, the goal here is to “push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions.”

Where can I test the new search architecture?
You need to visit www2.sandbox.google.com

What do I do next?
Use the search engine as you would normally do and see how it fares up.

Why isn’t www2.sandbox.google.com working for me?
Google announced that it is taking the Caffeine sandbox offline on Thursday, August 13, because it has to run some upgrades in the datacenter. The site will be back by the end of the day.

Why doesn’t it look different from the old Google Search?
Because the changes are “under the hood” – search results show up faster and are more relevant. The only ones that might see a difference are web developers and power searchers.

Don’t I need to provide some feedback?
Your feedback is more than welcomed. At the bottom of the page you will notice a “ Dissatisfied? Help us improve” link. To provide your feedback, just click that link and type away. Make sure to include the word “caffeine” in your message.

Any specific feedback topics?

Google said it wants to find out what differences between the current search results and the new system you notice. Things like “This specific site should or shouldn't rank for this query” and “these types of sites seem to rank better or worse in the new system.”

Can anyone use Caffeine?
Yes, but it is meant for developers and power searchers.

Is this the final version of Caffeine?
No, this is just a dev preview. Work on Google’s next gen search architecture is not complete.



Tags: Google, Caffeine, Search architecture
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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