Google Caffeine

By bavidarbavidar (1260128569|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Google Caffeine ( The New and Improved Google)

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This is a statement Google recently released. "For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google's web search. It's the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits "under the hood" of Google's search engine, which means that most users won't notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we're opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback"

This blog contains some results of my interaction with the new search.

Overview

Google’s is planning to launch a new and upgraded version of its search engine in the coming months. Google promises that the new search tool (codename “Caffeine”) will improve the 4 aspects of the search engine:

  1. Speed
  2. Precision
  3. Size
  4. Comprehensiveness

While the current release is just a developer version and is a pre-beta release, it’s completely usable.

After testing out the new Google and comparing it to the Old Google i have decided to share the results.

The categories that I tested are the following:

  • Speed: How fast can the new search engine load results?
  • Precision: Which set of results is more precise (based on the definition of precision we used in class)
  • Temporal Relevancy: Is one version of search better at capturing breaking news? (the new one is supposed to have better real-time results)
  • Size: Which search is more comprehensive

Speed

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The first category is the most important. It tells us how efficient Google's current algorithm is. Here are the results for the query "Chicago Bears"

  • Old Google: .17 Seconds
  • New Google: .11 Seconds

While its not twice as fast as the old Google. There is a huge difference between .11 and .17 seconds. I tried this with a few more queries and found that about 7/10 times the New Google was faster than the old Google.

Precision

Precision is one of the more important factors. Looking at the Top 10 results for the query ["Chicago bears" rams predictions], I counted the amount of relevant results.

  • Old Google: 8 Relevant
  • New Google: 9 Relevant

The new Google shows the results in the same way. It shows sites, blogs, images and even news. However, the new Google has a different options menu on the right which allows you to filter results in a different way. Its a bit more visually pleasing too! All in all though, both sets of searches are very accurate.

Temporal Relevancy

The Google, when it comes out and is fully functional, is supposed to integrate real-time news. Therefore to test this out I went to CNN to find out the most recent "breaking news" and see how the Google search before and after showed these results. The breaking news story that i searched was [Weezer singer hurt in bus crash]. Here are the results I got:

Results

Surprisingly, both searches turned up 1 news article relevant to my query and both were reported 3 hours ago. In this case I would have to call it a tie, but from looking at the new Google search, i would have to say that they have not yet integrated this new feature.

Size

Lets go back to the example of the query [Chicago Bears].

Using this query:

Old Google: 9,322 Results
New Google: 9,356 Results

While this may not seem to be a huge difference, the fact that the new Google can find new sources to search means that the new algorithm is much more useful. While I do not know how many of these sites are actually relevant the amount retrieved is an essential part of getting more precise results.

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Conclusions

There are a few key takeaways from using both these searches. The new Google is fast. Its Really fast. Probably faster than the guy who speaks on those Jimmy John's radio commercials. From reading on the improvements of the new search. The new Google relies more on keywords as the algorithm has changed drastically. Additionally, as I talked above, the Search industry is moving into real-time: Being able to get info on breaking events is clearly a priority for Google. The new Google will only get better as features are implemented and developed. The end result is a better search experience for the user. Try out the new Google Caffeine. Its kind of a hassle to get working. But somewhat worth it.

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