Search engine wars: Bing vs. Caffeine

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to Bing, Microsoft’s replacement for Live Search. Now, shortly after Yahoo and Microsoft announce they are going to join forces on the search engine front, Google is answering back with Caffeine, a faster and more accurate way to search the Web.While the front end of the popular search engine will remain the same, Google has updated its infrastructure to include new indexing, ranking and crawling mechanisms. This translates to more accurate searching with greater indexing speed and more comprehensive results.

The new search tool, which was released for public testing earlier this month, is available at http://www2.sandbox.google.com/. Try a few searches in the old and new engines and see what you find. Even though the differences will probably not be apparent to many users, Web developers and frequent Web searchers will likely pick up on some nuances, such as when sites rank for a specific query but shouldn’t or if some sites seem to fare better or worse in the new system.Any users that want to share their feedback can do so by visiting the test site, searching any term, and replying via an area at the bottom of the search results page that reads, “Dissatisfied? Help us improve.”Since Caffeine’s new generation infrastructure is still a work in progress, it’s too early to tell how this may impact search engine optimization. Time will tell if these advances will require healthcare companies to re-optimize their sites so they improve their rankings in relevant search results.