First of all, Google Caffeine is live and fully rolled out to all data centers. Let's face, it we've all been sitting here patiently waiting for Caffeine to go live so we could figure out just what the hell it is. Caffeine is not an algorithm update. It is an infrastructure update that impacts how Google indexes the Web. In years past it took Google between one and two weeks to index the entire Web. Remember the Google Dance? After the age of The Dance, Google began updating portions of the Web on a nightly basis. The sequence of events was crawl, index and then push live.
Now Google crawls and immediately indexes a document and pushes it live almost instantly. You can see results showing up in seconds now rather than days. Matt Cutts ,of Google, says the Google index is now approximately 50% fresher than it has been previously.
This means our updated content in the form of title tags and product descriptions will now be reflected in search results much more quickly. Caffeine makes Google fresher, and it also allows our SEO efforts to potentially be recognized more quickly.
Next is the Google Mayday update. This is the update that wiped out a lot of long-tail search traffic for many retailers. This is truly a ranking change and it looks like we're stuck with it, according to Matt Cutts who was quoted at Google I/O in May, saying "This is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries. It went through vigorous testing and isn't going to be rolled back of this year." There's also a video from Matt that goes into some detail at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ6CtBmaIQM.
The short answer for Mayday is all about content/duplicate content. Think about how you can add content to those barebones product pages that add value to the user. Product reviews are one good way, but be very careful how you implement those reviews. Many review services provide implementation through methods that don't allow the search engines to see the reviews embedded in the page.
I'd sure hate to leave Bing out of this summary because it's doing some cool things. Once the migration/merge with Yahoo actually happens, we're all going to care a whole lot more about them as they scoop up that extra market share. Bing results should show up on Yahoo by the end of the year. Yusuf Mehdi of Microsoft told the audience at SMX that the paid search marketplace is planned to be launched on Yahoo this year, but could be delayed to next year.
So what did Yahoo announce related to search? Nothing ,of course. They sold their search souls to Microsoft -- but if you're itching for Yahoo news, Carol Bartz (Yahoo CEO) recently told Michael Arrington (Techcrunch CEO) to "F* off" on a live broadcast. Go look it up on Bing video search and show them some love.