We’ve been playing with the update to the Google search engine code named "Caffeine". It’s kind of a silly name, but most folks seem to like the practice of naming these updates— I suspect we’ll see more, sillier names as time goes on. In any event, Google might have done a bit more research into the effect of the drug on spiders: caffeine web
Anyway, at first glance the Google update is fast. Very fast. It is also vast– containing over 18 billion web pages, or 2 billion more than the live Google index. The new search also seems to be a bit less affected by link spam. I’ve been critical of Google’s over-emphasis on incoming links for the last few years– allowing spam monkeys to inject themselves into results by just having a million links. EDU top level domains seem to fare a bit better in search rankings. My only wish is that Wikipedia is not always the assumed first result for informational searches– no obvious change there. Someone else should have a chance to rank on the number 5— The Jackson Five perhaps.
Probably the biggest change that we’ve noticed and it may not last once Caffeine is moved to a live environment, but international search has lost their "search for pages in our country" as an option. For example the current Google.DE has three search options, "Das Web", "Seiten auf Deutsch" and" Seiten aus Deutschland". Caffeine only offers all web search and only in German, which may mean that some of us who have optimized international sites on a top level domain targeting a particular country may have to revisit the code and focus on language. Or, perhaps setting the website target region in Google Webmaster’s Tools will actually have an effect:
Time will tell.