Google's Caffeine Jolts Web Indexing

Aptly dubbed Caffeine, the system aims to update its Web index continuously to provide results almost immediately. The search engine can extract more relevant content, with results from blogs, forums and news, Google said in a blog announcing Caffeine. The index will provide the “largest collection of Web content we’ve offered,” but won’t be obvious to users.

“Some background for those of you who don't build search engines for a living like us: when you search Google, you're not searching the live web,” Carrie Grimes, a Google software engineer, said in a company blog announcing Caffeine Tuesday. “Instead you're searching Google's index of the web which, like the list in the back of a book, helps you pinpoint exactly the information you need.

“With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally,” Grimes wrote. “ As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before -- no matter when or where it was published.”

As for the actual name, a Google spokesperson explained the inspiration: “We call this index Caffeine because, like how you feel after a cup of coffee, it moves quickly and deliberately to ensure the delivery of the freshest information from across the Web.”

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The new-and-improved search is a step forward for Google, according to its spokesperson, because it makes it possible to deliver fresher Web results, allows the index to be more comprehensive as the Web grows and enables the engine to do more to improve the quality of search.

Google said there will be updates continuously to the search index, and that Caffeine isn’t a one-time fix.

“(These updates will be made) to adapt to the rapidly changing nature of the Web,” said the Google spokesperson. “However, the last major update was back in early 2006.”

Google has been working on Caffeine for more than a year, according to the company spokesperson.