Google officially launches faster, more accurate search index

Internet search giant Google has completed a new web indexing system it says will provide faster and 50% more accurate results than the previous version of the search engine and will contain the largest collection of web content ever.

While Google Caffeine was announced by the company last year, the index has now been finished and Google says it will allow users to find more relevant content faster, “whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post”.

The company says the Caffeine system was designed to keep up with the massive amount of content being pumped onto the web, including video, images, news and real-time updates on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

“In addition, people’s expectations for search are higher than they used to be. Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish,” software engineer Carrie Grimes said in a blog post.

This trend was confirmed recently by Experian Hitwise data, which found users are now more likely to make more specific Google searches using up to eight words, instead of just one or two.

The old index, Grimes explains, used several “layers” of content, which could only be updated by analysing the entire amount of content on the internet. The new Google Caffeine system is updated constantly on a global basis, meaning that when the search engine finds a new page, it’s instantly added to the index.

“That means you can find fresher information than ever before — no matter when or where it was published.”

The Caffeine system comes as more Google users are relying on content that is being regularly updated, such as forum posts, news stories, Facebook and Twitter updates and other types of “real-time” pages.

“Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database and adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day.”

“You would need 625,000 of the largest iPods to store that much information; if these were stacked end-to-end they would go for more than 40 miles.”

Google has confirmed the Caffeine system is now live, so businesses should regularly check their rankings on the search engine to determine if their SEO strategies need to be amended.

Stewart Media chief executive Jim Stewart says the index is a response to more real-time updates being produced by businesses and individuals.

“Twitter changed the business model of all of this, and Facebook followed suit. Google has been looking at real-time search for a while, but part of the Caffeine model is to respond to that and make it even faster.”

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