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Google Caffeine = Big Genealogy News

New Index Improves Genealogy Searches


A very important announcement came out of Google this week that will have a profound impact on genealogy. Google launched a new search index called Caffeine. Why is this important to genealogy? Let us explain.

Google is the search engine of choice for most genealogists. What makes Google so effective for anyone searching for ancestral records is the depth and breadth of its search capabilities. By definition, genealogy records are archived records. Archived records are typically found in the far, dusty corners of the internet. Google is the best search engine for finding these records. But even Google is not perfect. Every genealogist will eventually stumble upon online ancestral records that Google does not seem to have indexed.

When people use Google to search the web they are not actually searching the web. Instead, they are searching Google’s index of the web. The difference between searching the web and searching an index of the web might seem like an exercise in splitting hairs, but it really does matter. Google is the best search engine in the world for several reasons but mainly because it has the best index of the web. Google’s index goes broader and deeper than any other search engine. And starting this week, the Google index will go even broader and deeper.

Google launched this week a whole new indexing system called Caffeine. Caffeine promises to refresh 50% faster than the old search index. This means new content on the web will appear faster in Google search results and archived records in the dusty corners of the internet are now much more likely to be indexed. Basically, what Google has done under the hood is swap out the old search index engine and replace it with a bigger, better, stronger engine. This is a significant enhancement for genealogy because it will make it easier for you to find archived genealogy records on the internet.

We have already noticed a change with Caffeine on our own GenealogyInTime Magazine website. When we post a batch of new genealogy desktop wallpaper images we immediately inform Google of the new content. In the past, it was taking Google three to four weeks to index new images. This week, we noticed that it is now taking Google three to four days.

We have written extensively on how to use Google to find records of your ancestors (see How to Use Google Advanced Search for Genealogy and How to Refine Google Genealogy Searches). How do you take advantage of the new Google Caffeine? Our suggestion is to wait a couple of weeks to let Google Caffeine complete its magic by percolating through all the Google indexes. Then, go back to your normal Google search page and rerun some of those Google genealogy searches that we talked about in our articles. You might be pleasantly surprised by how many new results you pick up.

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