Did you know that Google - like many other search engines - changes their search algorithms hundreds of times per year? Search results get tweaked all the time by the developers and it is most of the time behind the scene changes that are not revealed to the outside. Webmasters have learned to live with those changes and are able to spot some of them by observing the search engine rankings of websites. Webmaster forums do occasionally get flooded by webmasters if something drastic happens.
It is not often that a search engine invites users to test it's search infrastructure. Google invited webmasters yesterday to test out their next-generation search engine infrastructure. Interested users can point their web browsers to http://www2.sandbox.google.com/ to perform a live test.
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.
Webmasters usually have the advantage of being able to check how their websites rank for certain keywords which makes it easier for them to spot differences. Most users who commented in the original post at the Google webmasters website mentioned that search results in the new search engine would be more relevant. It was also noted that less spam websites would occupy a position on the first three search results pages.
A quick test for some of the keywords that Ghacks ranks for did not reveal any major changes. Please post your opinion about Google's next-generation search infrastructure in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.