Google Caffeine – The SEO Implications

Google recently announced it’s top secret project codenamed “Caffeine”.  This project seems to have been a few years in the making and meant to capitalise on the growing interest in “real time search” and the “semantic web”.

I have yet to see any major changes in Google’s search results due to Caffeine but maybe this is because it has yet to be launched in the UK.

The test bed for Caffeine is the US market.  Actually, in Google’s official announcement, they provided a link to the DC hosting the “new and improved” search results.

What are the implication of Caffeine to webmaster around the world?  More specifically, how will Google’s new algorithm impact SEO efforts.  Here are my thoughts:

1) Now more than ever, Brand presence in social media has become increasingly important as Google Caffeine will place more efforts on social media noise among other factors.

2) Google Caffeine boasts a larger and more comprehensive  index of results.  This means that webmasters need to ensure (now more than ever) that their websites are as accessible and spider friendly as possible.  Load time of web pages in now becoming increasingly important in ranking results.  Don’t skimp on your hosting!

3) The semantic web is fast closing in on us.  Google Caffeine has an improved element of semantics in it’s algorythm.  What does this mean?  Well if you’re writing a page about dogs and “man’s best friend”  for example is not included, this could hinder your ranking efforts.  Web copy needs to take this into account.

4) Following on from point 3 above, information architecture is playing an increasingly important role in rankings.  The idea behind information architecture is to build a website where the information contained within is structured and marked-up in such a way as to portray a sense of authority to search engines.  This factor in itself has always played an important role in search rankings however Caffeine’s launch will make this even more of a critical ranking factor!

We are yet to see the full implications of Caffeine but one thing’s for certain, the days of traditional SEO methods are numbered!

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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