Dec. 4 – Is Google Caffeine on Your Holiday Wish List?

This is an entry in our daily Internet Marketing Advent Calendar series. Each day your favorite marketing elves Kasi and Amanda will focus on a new topic to get your internet marketing in order before the start of the new year.

Google has decided to give us all a holiday gift this season that is two-fold: they are finally rolling out their new Search update (called Caffeine) and they are waiting until just after the holidays to do it.  Not wanting to shake things up too much for online retailers, it’s only being rolled out to a very small subsection of users so that Google can continue collecting data and improving it.

Is This Gift More Like a Lump of Coal?

Google’s aim is to incease the speed in which results are returned, index even more pages, and possibly display more “real time” results.  That’s not a bad thing in my book.  But the looming question on every SEO’s mind is whether or not it’s going to drastically affect search rankings.  I did some testing on it back in August when they opened it up for people to try out in exchange for feedback, and I didn’t notice much of a shift in rankings while doing side-by-side comparisons.  However, there’s no way of knowing how it’s going to shake it out until it’s fully implemented.

Should I Worry About My Google Rankings?

google caffeineDon’t let this ruin your holidays.  I believe that if your website employs the standard SEO practices that are Google-approved and within their guidelines, it should work out okay.  Part of Google’s mission is to also increase the relevancy of the search results, so if anyone should be worried, it’s the people employing shady, spammy tactics.

I would be prepared for a shift in rankings perhaps at first while everything stabilizes, but don’t panic.  Just be aware that it’s going to happen and analyze the changes that you’re seeing in order to make any tweaks if need be.

You can read more about Google Caffeine straight from Google’s own Matt Cutts.

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