So what is Google Caffeine all about? A simple analogy: Google Caffeine is to search what the iPhone 4 is to the iPhone; a modern update to an existing product. It still continues to provide all of the great features that made it great and whets the appetite for technology with a few clever new features — neither product provides any new revolutionary functionality, just some upgrades.
Without a doubt, Google revolutionized search engine technology and Apple did the same with smartphones. However, when it comes down to fundamentals, Google Caffeine is no more revolutionary than the iPhone 4. The new iPhone is slimmer, faster, prettier, but it’s not as groundbreaking as its predecessors. The same goes for Google Caffeine: faster more recent results, but again, not groundbreaking — it still provides relevant results and information being sought.
I’m more interested into probing into what Google Caffeine will mean for SEO. Initially, there will likely be some manipulation taking place. There will quickly emerge a new generation of “real-time SEO experts” that will know how to take advantage of the new technology, as they will poke and prod until they spring a leak and the waterfall of desired results comes pouring out. There will be a short window of opportunity where these “SEO experts” will charge a fortune for what will eventually turn into marginal results.
Fundamentally speaking however, Google Caffeine is not revolutionary. It does exactly what Google search has always done: providing the most relevant results; it’s just happening faster. It could eventually result in what has happened in mainstream media — who can provide the latest and greatest breaking news with the best delivery (hopefully minus the sensationalism).
No longer will it just be about bringing the most relevant content, but you will need to provide the most relevant content in the shortest amount of time. So not only will you need to provide the most pertinent information for those seeing it, you will need to do so as quickly as possible. For well-established topics and information it will not be as important, but if you are on the bleeding edge of technology it will be paramount.
For the big guys (TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Slashdot, etc.) it probably doesn’t mean a whole lot. They already have the infrastructure and resources to provide breaking news quickly and effectively. However, for the little guys, it may provide a window of opportunity to speak their minds and acquire the audiences they are seeking.
So if you’re interested in taking advantage of Google Caffeine, how might you go about it?
- Keep your ear to the ground
- Develop your own opinion
- Express your opinion
- Apply all the same old rules such as…
Stay connected and read what folks are talking about. Write about what people are reading about. However, in order to be heard you need to…
Probably the worst thing you can do is repeat what others are saying, as your voice will be lost in the noise. Do something crazy like compare Google Search to the new iPhone and perhaps piss off a few people in the process. Nothing drives more traffic to a website than anger and controversy.
…express it quickly, and express it well. If you can gather your thoughts quickly and provide an intelligent editorial on breaking news, you’re likely to get noticed.
- Relevant content
- Well-written content
- Original content (expressing your own unique opinion will take care of this)
- Inbound links (relevant, well-written, original content will eventually generate inbound links and take care of this as well)
Whatever interests you online, get involved in some online forums. If you have an area of expertise, join forums in your field, hyperlink your signature file to your website, and start posting questions and answers. If you have relevant articles on your website to the topic at hand, hyperlink to them. The majority of forums allow you to create hyperlinks that provide coveted linkjuice back to your website.
Do not haphazardly begin joining any and every forum in your field and start posting garbage. You will quickly get banned and disrespected and will achieve the opposite of what you wish to accomplish. Go in with the genuine intention of providing useful information to those seeking it (the very same intention you should have with your website), and ask thoughtful and provoking questions that will solicit helpful answers. You will quickly garner the respect you deserve.
Ultimately, if you’re already providing relevant content on breaking news that others are interested to read about and you provide your readers with a unique perspective, you should be in pretty good shape to take advantage of Google Caffeine. It could mean a few late nights or early mornings to be the first one to break some big news, so you may wish to invest in a good coffee machine and a nice big mug. And with that… it’s time for bed. It’s past 1:30am here.