Google gives search a 'Caffeine' boost

Search giant seeks feedback on new search architecture from power users, Web developers

Google Inc. is set to let users try out an upgraded search technology, code-named Caffeine, that its engineers have been developing for the past several months.

Google today announced that it is opening the so-called "next-generation architecture" to Web developers and power users to test out. Users can access the as-yet unfinished Caffeine in a Google sandbox, a testing environment that isolates new code from production systems.

The announcement that Google is honing a faster, more accurate and comprehensive search engine comes about two weeks after rivals Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. announced that they are partnering up to challenge the search giant. The deal calls for Microsoft's Bing search engine to power various Yahoo sites, while Yahoo sells premium search advertising services for both companies.

Unveiling the test version of its new search technology shortly after the Microsoft-Yahoo announcement will pull some momentum and attention back to Google, said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc.

"One interesting thing here is why Google is going public at this point," said Gottheil. " The search war tends to be a silent one. Google does not want to imply that earlier versions did not give searchers what they wanted. Until now, improvements were just slipstreamed into the product."

Gottheil added that he figures there are two possible reasons why Google went public with a search update that's not quite ready to be rolled out.

"One, Google has a real breakthrough, and when users compare the standard search engine with the new one, they will be able to see the difference," he said. "The other is that the 'new' engine is just another of Google's ongoing refinements. It is an improvement, but not one that would be noticed without Google pointing it out. But Google wants to tell the world that just as Microsoft appears to be catching up, Google is pulling ahead."

Sitaram Iyer and Matt Cutts, both engineers at Google, noted in a company blog post that they're looking for user feedback on the differences between its current search results and new system. "We're interested in higher-level feedback," they wrote.

They also said that since the new technology is "under the hood," any difference in performance would likely be more apparent to technically-savvy users.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?