Google Caffeine FAQ: Your Questions Answered

Google has unveiled Caffeine, a "next-generation architecture" for its Web search platform. The retooled search engine is said to be faster, more accurate, and more comprehensive than the current Google search setup.

By JR Raphael
Tue, August 11, 2009

PC World — Google has unveiled Caffeine, a "next-generation architecture" for its Web search platform. The retooled search engine is said to be faster, more accurate, and more comprehensive than the current Google search setup.

Google's 'Caffeine' Should Give Businesses the Jitters
Slideshow: Penguins, Lizards and Apple's X Factor: How Famous OS Logos Got Started

Google is by far the Internet's dominant search engine -- it accounted for about three-quarters of all U.S.-based searches in June, according to Web metrics company Hitwise -- so any change in its formula is bound to create plenty of questions. Here's a simple FAQ on Google's new Caffeine system, what it's all about, and what it means for you.

What exactly is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a revamped version of Google's actual search engine -- the code that finds your answers when you type in queries.

Where can I see it?

Google has set up a Web developer preview of Caffeine that you can test at http://www2.sandbox.google.com/. That site only works on a regular Web browser as of now; you can't test it via your mobile phone just yet.

How's different Caffeine from the current Google search engine?

The formula itself, in some ways, has changed. Google engineers have actually rewritten parts of the search engine's infrastructure. Of course, Google isn't disclosing exactly what has been altered, but in a nutshell, search results show up faster and in a somewhat different order. The difference may or may not even be noticeable to you.

What's an example of how search results show up differently in Caffeine?

Try searching for "PC World" in regular Google search, then searching for it in Caffeine. As of this story's publication, the links begin to differ four entries into the page. While the fourth result on regular Google search is a 2004 Today @ PC World blog on Google Desktop Search, the fourth result on Caffeine is a link to an Amazon.com page for PC World subscriptions. You'll notice other changes as you compare the two results pages, too (as you will if you do side-by-side comparisons on most other search terms you try).

Will Google.com look different with Caffeine?

No. Caffeine is described as an "under the hood" update; it is not a change to the external Google user interface that you see.

How much faster is Caffeine?

We're talking fractions of seconds, but it's there. In our test search for "PC World," for example, the results took 0.15 seconds on the regular Google search, and 0.09 seconds on Caffeine.

Continue Reading

Our Commenting Policies