Google's Caffeine initiative to perk up search results is leaving the sandbox.
First revealed as a "secret project" in early August, Caffeine is intended to speed up search results and improve their accuracy. Google's Webmaster Central blog at the time described Caffeine as "the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions."
A Caffeine Web page had been set up as a developer preview test site asking people to try out the new feature and offer their feedback. But as spotted by Mashable.com, the developer information has been taken down and replaced with a note from Google, pegging Caffeine a success and briefly describing the next phase.
Based on the success we've seen, we believe Caffeine is ready for a larger audience. Soon we will activate Caffeine more widely, beginning with one data center. This sandbox is no longer necessary and has been retired, but we appreciate the testing and positive input that webmasters and publishers have given.
Caffeine won't change the look or feel of Google's popular search engine but will work under the hood to improve its performance, reportedly delivering faster, better, and more flexible results. Though Google continually tweaks its search engine, Caffeine represents the first major enhancement to its search indexing since 2006.
No word or response yet from Google on when Caffeine might actually go live.
In a late August interview with WebProNews, Google engineer Matt Cutts said that the feedback on Caffeine had been very positive.
And in a forecast of Google's latest move, Cutts also said he wouldn't be surprised if Caffeine were gradually opened up one data center at a time. Then once Google is satisfied with the new search indexing, Caffeine should spill out into more and more data centers.