This week saw the launch (to developers & now you via the link below) of the latest Google Search update ... only this isn't some small little upgrade this is a full information architecture renewal for Google. Now this sounds like you will loose some data or ground but you won't, my inside sources tell me that the transition will be smooth and no data will be lost due to some very very complicated coding. Google list the following as vital parts of this update:
Increasing Speed (double the speed seems to be average in benchmark testing).
Increased Relevancy (a whole new algo amongst a whole new set of tools - details below).
Comprehensiveness (meaning they want to index the web more and other files).
At this stage developers are only being asked for "feedback" ... on rather technical stuff & some of the features.
Now if you have poked your way around Google enough, and found labs, trends and news....amongst other updates already live you probably won't see too much improvement other than speed and accuracy (which to be honest is amazingly improved! also developer will note some other updates). Ok so i've just told you some of the new features, add to this real-time news updates and you will soon see this is a huge huge improvement to the "pulic" search engine that is Google ... i say public because alot has floated in labs for months and months for developers to play around.
Now all of this comes not long after Microsoft launched Bing (and acquired yahoo's search), but compared to that this is a gentle release. With around 87% of search traffic in the UK directed to google in 2008, the huge multi-million pound launch of Bing was something of a splash in an ocean ... latest results are showing less than a 1% increase in Bing's search within the UK.
Earlier this week Facebook sealed a deal to buy FriendFeed (something 90% of you will never have heard of), but this now gives them the power (as they have claimed) to supply "real-time" news and "people powered search" ... oh and twitter have always claimed the later too. Add to this twitter has a new homepage that looks just like a search engine and mahalo also gaining ground in the uk... is this realease a reaction to these pieces of news and movements of the search engine world???
Well to answer this was given to developers when we were asked to test the system:
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.
So want to go and play with this secret search engine?
Ok heres your link.
Have fun and let me know what you think of the updates :)
[Update 2300 11/08/09 - Google Caffeine appears to have taken a little break... ok they are "updating" the system. Its claiming a few hours until it opens its doors again, though i'd think maybe a day or two since Google will want to test any improvements themselves first. ]