Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on October 19th, 2009

How Google's Caffeine Benefits SEO

The Internet is constantly evolving, and as the Internet goes so must its biggest presence, Google. Google’s latest search engine algorithm revision, codenamed Caffeine, will soon be released and will affect search results and search engine optimization. The expected changes that Caffeine will bring involves faster indexing, a greater overall amount of pages indexed, and more detailed and informative SERPs. These changes will undoubtedly benefit SEO and people who are utilizing the service in their overall marketing initiatives. Let’s look at the three main areas of improvement that Google’s Caffeine brings to your website’s SEO:

1. Real-Time Search

It’s no secret that everyone and their ad agency is crushing on Twitter’s and, to a lesser extent, Facebook’s real-time results. Real-time updates and search results are one of the most significant updates that Google is implementing with Caffeine. If Google manages to get it right, they will have a huge increase in time-sensitive searches as people begin to search for late-breaking news and information.

How This Benefits SEO

Webmasters and content creators will be able to publish time-sensitive information and content on their sites and have confidence that Google will index it quickly and make available to searchers immediately. This will allow tons of branding and product placement opportunities that have never be possible before.

2. Image and Video Results

The prominency of image and video results on the SERPs have been popular with searchers. This has, however, inhibited the attention Google’s PPC campaigns are getting. To help increase the revenue from paid search, Google will be moving the image and video results closer to the bottom of the SERPs in hopes that they will not distract searchers from the paid advertising.

How This Benefits SEO

This is great news for SEO. By moving the image and video results down the page, many search engine results will move up the page – getting more value from higher positions. However, anyone that is lingering at the bottom of the first page may be saturated by image and video results. Only time will tell how exactly the balance is struck on the SERPs.

3. Social Media

Google has been steadily increasing the importance of social media profiles in their rankings. It may be worth the time and effort to re-evaluate Social Media Optimization (SMO) strategies, or lack thereof, as they are likely to become more important.

How This Benefits SEO

Search engine optimizers who can adapt and change their approaches to Caffeine will essentially take advantage of the new opportunities created by the new algorithm. Implementing deeper SMO strategies for companies who are able to thrive on Facebook and Twitter will bring revenue from entirely new resources. These are the type of initiatives that are necessary to survive in today’s competitive landscape.

Despite all these new algorithmic changes, there’s not too much to change in SEO’s current best practices and techniques. On-page optimization remains fundamentally important and off-page activities should stay ethical and effective.

Take advantage of the new opportunities that Caffeine brings to your business. If you can leverage time-sensitive content and open a conversation in social media, you stand a great chance to giving your bottom line that jolt it needs to compete.