Google Caffeine changes your Ski & Snowboard experience

Posted By: The Ski Channel on August 11, 2009 1:18 pm

Google has been working on their next-generation web search architecture codenamed Caffeine that could potentially change the way you ski or snowboard. At least it would do so when searching on those keywords. Google has suggested that some search results would change thus affecting businesses which depend upon search traffic.

We performed a quick test today to see how this could affect your next equipment purchase or the way you plan your next ski/snowboard trip. Using the standard Google search page against the Caffeine sandbox search page and typing in the keyword “ski” resulted in only a minor variance but could be impactful depending upon the user.

With the current Google search page, the first page returned the following (your results may vary depending upon your browsing history):

1 – ski.com
2 – skinet.com
3 – rossignol.com
4 – Video Results for ski
5 – Local business results
6 – skireport.com
7 – salomonsports.com/us/ski.html
8 – goski.com
9 – theskichannel.com
10 – skishores.com
11 – skisocal.org
12 – skiroundtop.com

On the Caffeine sandbox browser, here are the first page results:

1 – ski.com
2 – skinet.com
3 – salomonsports.com/us/ski.html
4 – Video Results for ski
5 – Local business results
6 – skireport.com
7 – goski.com
8 – theskichannel.com
9 – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ski
10 – skidxb.com
11 – skisocal.org
12 – breckenridge.snow.com
13 – News results for ski

The search results are pretty similar but minor variances could have an interesting effect. Note that the Video Results and the Local business results were identical.
 
First difference in the list is in the #3 result. In the current Google search page, Rossignol is listed but in the Caffeine sandbox the #3 spot belongs to Salomon. Also note that in the first page of the sandbox, Rossignol is missing. That’s a tremendous impact to the Rossignol brand as it gets bumped out of the top listings altogether in the next-generation Google search engine prorotype.

A close look at the ski resorts in the first page of Google standard has Ski Roundtop but in the Google Caffeine version it drops out completely and supplanted by Breckenridge and Ski Dubai. One could end up riding in Dubai instead of Roundtop. What a contrast.

One significant note on the sandbox results is the appearance of the Wikipedia article for “ski”. It doesn’t appear at all on the first page of the current search results page. Could this mean less weight on commercialization for Google search?

The best thing about Google Caffeine has got to be the fact that theskichannel.com moved up from #9 to #8 and right above the Wikipedia article.

Now try this for keyword “snowboard” and see what you get.

Note: this test was done on Firefox 3.5.2 with Clear Recent History (all) option.

 

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