Google Caffeine is the latest version of the search engine’s algorithm, or method by which they search and index the Internet. One thing that hasn’t changed is that backlinks are still important, but other things have.
One major change is that the search engine now can update it’s index in seconds, instead of days, which means that anything you post on your website, blog, or Twitter will be updated in Google’s search results within seconds as long as its in the index of results already. This is powerful because it means that the search engine is extremely up-to-date at almost every moment.
The other big change is how it views relevance. Relevance is how Google determines whether or not your page is worth ranking at the top of the search results. In the beginning Google used a mathematical formula that took into account the number of pages linking back to your page, the content on your page, the content of the pages linking to your page, and the links from your page to other relevant sites (based on content). That core feature is still in the algorithm, but it’s been added to and tweaked over the years.
No one except the Google engineers know what the algorithm actually looks for, but we have hints from its behavior and from Google’s blog that lead us to believe that a new feature of Caffeine is that the search engine now takes synonyms used on the page as a factor in determining relevance. This means that a site that uses a keyword of “web design” should also have related terms like “web hosting, SEO, and web development.” If you think about it, it makes sense as it builds context around a term. For those who have built their web sites around a primary keyword, this can hurt, but if you write naturally and really know what you are talking about, this should be okay. Just keep in mind that internal and external linking to relevant sites with similar content will help your site have relevance and get better search engine rank results.
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