Google reveals new version of its search engine
Google today unveiled project "Caffeine", the codename for the secret project to develop the next-generation of the company's search-engine infrastructure.
Web developers have been invited to test the new version of its search engine, and provide feedback about differences observed in results from the current and new system.
The preview was announced today by the technical lead, Matt Cutt, on the company's official Webmaster Central Blog.
For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google's web search. It's the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits "under the hood" of Google's search engine, which means that most users won't notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we're opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback.
I welcome this opportunity to preview the new service and report back with my observations. Preliminary data from my own tests so far -- covering key metrics including search speed, the number of results returned, and relevance -- don't indicated any big differences between the current and new version of the search engine. Qualitative and quantitative differences -- perceived and measured -- are either not big enough to be readily apparent or not consistent enough to support general conclusions. There are obvious differences in the layout of the results page, e.g. news and video sections are now both at top for applicable queries. Comparisons with Bing are inevitable, since the Caffeine sandbox seems to be copying Microsoft's search engine.
The test site is not yet finished and currently has a number of issues, such as broken links and other errors, about which Google's engineers do not currently require feedback. [Note: on 13 August Google's test service was down, with an error message saying the data centre was being updated.]
10 August 2009
Tags: google search engine new version beta preview test secret project caffeine webmasters faster relavent results next-generation architecture sandbox engineer matt cutts blog search competitive intelligence technology news