Google has removed the sandbox for developers and word is, that the caffeine update will initially roll out to one single datacenter and then populate the other datacenters “after the holidays”.
Anyway, my expectation is that the 2 major updates to make the most impact shall be ‘real time news events‘ and ‘twitter updates’. The ‘News‘ and ‘Information‘ categories are going to be very prominent after this next update. Twitter updates will definitely be indexed fast, to show up in Google Search results.
Google’s vulnerability was evident when they could not display real time links during the ‘Iran voting crisis’ earlier this summer. As soon as Bing announced their agreement with Twitter, Google rapidly followed. It appears they are licensing their data feed instead of connecting via the regular public API. Where does Facebook stand in all this?
Additionally, there may be fewer search results displayed – I believe someone may have noticed, most searchers do not go past the first five search results, let alone the first page.