Google Caffeine: Will Keyworded Domains Inherit The Web?
Google Caffeine is coming soon to a computer near you! How will your site and keywords fare in this "Next Generation" search engine? More importantly, what ranking factors may play a role in acheiving top rankings in Google's new index?
Google Caffeine: Will Keyworded Domains Inherit The Web?
Predicting just what Google Caffeine will do to your current keyword rankings has become an ongoing obsession with many professional search engine marketers. Caffeine is Google's "Next Generation" search engine, a major overhaul of its index and algorithm, the complex formula and calculations Google uses to rank all the pages on the wonderful world wide web.
If that doesn't sound ominous enough, according to Matt Cutts (Google Spokesperson) one database is already showing Google Caffeine, and the full blown version will be released after the holidays. The reasoning behind this, Google doesn't want to upset webmasters and site owners during the lucrative holiday buying season. Keep in mind, despite its many, many, many public programs - Google's main revenue source is and has always been the advertising monies received through its Adwords program. Google seems to be paying more attention to webmasters and major site owners on the web.
In reality, this relationship between Google and its major advertisers has almost become just as complex as the algorithm itself... with both parties feeding off each other in a co-dependent relationship. What percentage of organic search revenues are funding Google can only be speculated at, but professional marketers who have seen what revenues a #1 listing in Google for a lucrative keyword can generate, know those earnings are huge. No doubt, some of those companies with these top rankings are pouring millions of those earnings back into Google Adwords, so that their companies can earn even more revenue. It's probably one big delicate dance and only Google knows the tune.
Now, the integrity of Google's index is not in question, but any savvy marketer or webmaster knows any individual or company with deep pockets and huge resources can buy their way into the top spot. Despite Google's brave attempt to stop it, link buying and keyword positioning, is a thriving industry on the web. Rightly or wrongly, money and unlimited resources will get you or your company to the top in organic search, regardless of which search engine you're targeting.
All moral and ethnical issues aside, the small webmaster and/or online marketer is stuck right in the middle, with Google on one side and these major multinational competitors on the other. Looming on the horizon is Google Caffeine, a new sheriff in town!
What new rules will this sheriff bring?
Like anyone who makes their living from search engine marketing, I had been constantly checking the beta version of Caffeine which Google released last summer ('09) where webmasters could check to see how well their keywords and site would fare in this new search index. This beta site has now been taken down by Google. (www2.sandbox.google.com)
Perhaps, one of the over-riding rules or ranking factors (Google's index is supposed to have over 200 of them) which seems different is the importance Google is now placing on the Domain Name and more specifically on the keyword in the domain. (For any non-marketing readers, keywords are the exact word or phrases web surfers type into search engines to find what they're looking for on the web.) Another noticeable observation shows that onpage factors seems to be playing a much bigger role in the new rankings. Even to the point where pages which contain numerous references to the keyword in the title, description, alt tags, and on the page... seem to be ranking higher. Of course, it is foolish, to draw conclusions from your own small sampling of results and you can end up with egg on your face very quickly, but those factors and keyworded domains may just get you to the top in Google Caffeine.
Will this ranking factor be the keystone in this new index, upon which all the other factors may crumble and fall?
Major question here is this: has the importance of backlinking been downplayed in this new index in favor of the keyworded domain and onsite content and optimization? Has there been a major shift to listing more quality content rather than relying on the number of backlinks a site is receiving, even from important related themed sites? The major problem and question to Google is this: if links can be bought, how do you keep your organic results democratic and fair, which was the original intention of Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they started Google in 1998.
One possible solution is social bookmarking.
Will we see an ever growing importance of social bookmarks and links in this new index. It is quite easy to buy 1000 links, but getting 1000 or 10,000 "re-tweets" is a little more difficult, similarly getting two or three thousand "diggs" may be a little harder to pull off. Same goes for Del.icio.us bookmarks, Facebook fans... well, you get the picture. Will Google's use of these new social sites make Caffeine faster, more relevant, more current and most importantly of all, can it bring some democracy back into their index?
Of course, nothing in Google's new index will be that cut and dry, that black and white. Other ranking factors such as age of site, past history and reputation, traffic numbers, authority branding... will all play a role in whether your site gets listed on that all important first page. However, on page factors may play a greater role - title, meta tags description, keyword density, alt tags, page views, bounce rate, time spent on page, and the number of social bookmarks may play an increased role in achieving high rankings. Website speed or how fast your site loads may also be a new ranking factor.
Underlying this whole issue is the fact which many Experienced webmasters/marketers alreay know, Google's SERPs is not a one-trick pony anymore. For very lucrative (monetized) keyword phrases, Google's results are broken up into Five categories... Info listings, Video listings, News Listings, Shopping Listings and Corporate Listings. Forget Caffeine, this is probably the fairest move Google has made in the last few years to make its SERPs more democratic. Read more on this here: 5 Pillars of Google Search
But we still have to come back to the curious question of domains which have the keywords in them. Webmasters and marketers for years have been telling us we should always pick domain names which have our major keywords in them. Just common sense really, someone searching for "brown widgets" will more likely than not find that item at a domain called www.brownwidgets.com or www.brownwidget.com. The major SEO reasoning, all your backlinks will inherently have your searched keyword in the URL, thus bringing it up in the rankings.
As the web evolves, keyworded domains are becoming more valuable and this value is reflected in the quality of the site. If you're making thousands or even millions from your keyworded domain, you can afford to invest in quality content and design. Cream rises to the top. Gradually, as these domains become more valuable they will be snapped up by marketers and companies who know just how to exploit them. Thousands upon thousands of keyword domains will be bought up by multi-billion dollar corporations who finally realize what the web really has to offer. This new evolved web will be much more narrower in scope and very topic specific?
In the "next generation" web the re-direct shall be king!
The role of the search engines, whether it be Google or Bing/Yahoo, will become less and less important, as savvy web searchers go directly to a site by typing in the keyworded domain to find what they're looking for on the web. Cutting out the middleman may just become a world wide passion as big multinational and fully funded corporations snap up all these valuable and lucrative keyworded domains, we will probably see these domains grow in importance and the search engines take more of a back-up role? Human nature dictates we always take the fastest route to our destination, the web will be no exception to this rule.
Have all the smart people at Google figured this out already, and designed the new Google Caffeine to reflect the growing importance of the keyworded domain? Of course, we can only speculate when it comes to just what Google is planning and doing with its next generation search engine, but will onsite factors and your domain name play a greater role in their organic SERPs?
Regardless of what the new sheriff actually does, when the dust finally settles on all these latest developments, the keyworded domain will probably be standing tall, watching the sun rise on a brand new day./p>
Related article: Are Search Engines Becoming Irrelevant?
The author is a full time online affiliate marketer who has sold millions of dollar's worth of other people's stuff (mostly electronics) on the web. His livelihood is derived from and depended upon search engine marketing and the daily monitoring of targeted keywords, mainly within Google. He operates numerous niche sites, as well as two sites on Internet Marketing.
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