At the beginning of January, it was believed that Caffeine had begun rolling out across Google's data centers. All the suspicion led people to believe that a full roll out was nearby. After all, Google's Matt Cutts did say, back in November, that "the full Caffeine roll out will happen after the holidays." Well, here we are--months later, and still no Caffeine to buzz about.
Confirmation of Caffeine not rolling out anytime soon was acquired by Search Engine Land. According to their site, a spokesperson for Google told them that Caffeine is still only live in a single data center and that "we expect to roll it out to all data centers over the coming months." When asked about what happened with the roll out, Google responded with the classic, "we aim to provide the best experience for our users" response, saying, "We run lots of tests with this big a change to our infrastructure. We want the new system to meet or exceed the abilities of our current system, and it can take time to ensure that everything looks good.”
In other words, Caffeine isn't ready for primetime, and Google doesn't have a set release date. In fact, even if you wanted to check out Caffeine at the 18.104.22.168 IP address that Matt Cutts provided back in November, you may or may not get it at all. When Search Engine Land asked Google about this IP address, the response was a predictable, "I don't have a specific IP address I can share." The bottom line is, we will get Caffeine when Google decides to give it to us. In the meantime, any changes users notice at Google.com are not part of the roll out. We have no idea when it will finally be unveiled to the world. These days, "months" can mean so many things.