Despite pressure from Bing, Google still rules the Internet search roost and today it is piling on the pressure with a significant upgrade.
It has announced the completion of a new Web indexing system called 'Caffeine' which provides "50 per cent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it's the largest collection of web content we've offered." The upshot is news stories, blogs, forum posts and other time sensitive content can now be found much sooner than ever before.
Why the complete rewrite? Google claims due to the increasing diversity and complexity of web pages:
"Our old index had several layers, some of which were refreshed at a faster rate than others; the main layer would update every couple of weeks," explained Google software engineer Carrie Grimes. "To refresh a layer of the old index, we would analyze the entire web, which meant there was a significant delay between when we found a page and made it available to you."
"With Caffeine, we analyze the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally," she continued. "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."
The proof of the pudding will be in the results themselves. So let us know if you notice any improvements over the next few weeks...
In related news Google has also rolled out a why-didn't-they-think-of-this-sooner enhancement: Google Maps previews for addresses in Gmail and Buzz. Frustratingly it only works with US addresses at present, but this will be expanded soon so enable it from Labs and keep your eyes peeled. Now if only it would get around to adding scheduled email sending too...