Google have revealed details of Google Caffeine, a new search project that claims to be faster and provide more accurate, relevant results. A post on the official Google Webmaster Blog todays reads.
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.
It comes during a period when the major search engines are all gearing for major overhauls of their search offerings. Promising to "push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness" is an extremely enticing claim for a product that already boasts around 80% of it's market.
Despite that dominance a series of developments over the last 6 months have underlined that this is no time tobe resting on ones laurels. In particular Microsoft's high-profile efforts increase it's market share which has so far included an expensive rebranding of search offering from Live to Bing and working out an agreement to takeover Yahoo's search division.
As well as this other technologies are beginning to redefine the traditional search sector. The Wolfram Alpha "knowledge engine" added a new dimension to internet knowledge gathering positioning itself midway between the search engines and informational sites such as wikipedia. Also the social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook are becoming more and more relevant to the search market with their ever more up-to-date activity and information feeds.
At present Google are offering users the chance to test the new system in a sandbox version and are inviting users to give feedback about how the new results stack up against the current version of the Google search engine.
Right now, we only want feedback on the differences between Google's current search results and our new system. We're also interested in higher-level feedback
It is an interesting project and a good way to get users on-board from day one. It will be interesting to compare and contrast the results in order to gain a handle on what route Google algorithm is taking.