Mountain View (CA) – Google is giving us a first glimpse at its next-generation search technology, which promises to search a greater portion of the web and provide more relevant results. There is no doubt that the new engine delivers more results, which appear to be closer related to Bing’s results. But are they in fact more relevant?
Google said that a “large team of Googlers” has been working on a secret project for the “last several months”. That project, code-named “Caffeine” surrounds Google’s next-generation web-search, the core of what Google is about. The company has not rolled out the technology yet, but is ready to show how it may look like. And, at first look, users may not notice any difference at all. It looks like Google, it feels like Google, it is just as fast as the Google we are used to. So, what is the difference?
Google in fact says that everyday users may not see a difference at all. Instead, webmasters may see a difference in search results, because the engine crawls a larger portion of the web, which may impact the page ranking system. We took the new web search for a quick spin and can in fact confirm that any of the 25 terms we tried delivered in part substantially more search results than in the “old” Google. A search for TGDaily (excluding tgdaily.com pages) shows 310,000 vs. 296,000 results, “iPod” delivers 328 million vs. 268 million, “photosynthesis formula” 1.4 million vs. 1.39 million, “Life expectancy fire belly toad” 13,900 vs. 3320 and The Sorrows of Young Werther 163,000 vs. 91,200. A quick comparison with Microsoft shows that Bing still has the lead in many narrowly defined search topics and if you are looking for the greatest number of search results, you will still have to use Google and Bing.
The new Google search left us scratching our heads whether the new search results are in fact more relevant than the old ones. You can try the new search engine for yourself at http://www2.sandbox.google.com
In many cases we subjectively felt that the new search engine is favoring results relating to larger websites, rather than smaller sites. It also appeared that commercial links such as links to Amazon.com have dropped down in Google’s page ranking. We also checked reports that the new search results may be much closer to what Bing delivers than what the old Google shows – and there is no clear sign that this is in fact the case, at least not with the search terms we used.
End users in fact may not see any difference at all, as Google claims. But, at the very least, it seems that Google is preparing some extra homework for webmasters and those search engine optimization specialists, who are getting paid to figure out Google’s page ranking system. Feel free to drop us a line if you find any clear differences between the old and new Google.