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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Google Makes Instant Previews Available to Everyone

Posted by @ 1:23 am

Google has announced the launch of a new feature, Instant Previews.

We first told you about Google testing this feature in October and we guess it must have been a huge success because Google have now made it available for everyone.

Google Instant gives searchers a full page preview of the website with highlighted text containing your search keywords. The image below shows the results for a search for ineedhits.

Google Instant also works on mobile devices in much the same way as the desktop version and it will be rolled out in 40 languages over the next few days.

To start using Google instant look out for a small magnifying glass icon next to the search results. Clicking on this icon will show a snapshot window on the right hand side of the page with a full page preview of the relevant website. To go to the website of your choice simply click anywhere on the preview window.

Google AdWords advertisers might be at a disadvantage here as the snapshot window comes up on the right hand side masking their presence.

“In our testing, we’ve found that people who use Instant Previews are about 5 per cent more likely to be satisfied with the results they click. The previews provide new ways to evaluate search results, making you more likely to find what you’re looking for on the pages you visit,” Google’s software engineer Jeremy Silber said.

It seems Google Instant with full page preview is here to stay, after all the idea of visualizing something before getting in there is always appealing. So website owners will have to put extra emphasis on the following areas as first mentioned by Search Engine Watch:

  • Keep your website layout simple.
  • Avoid ad pop-ups that will make your page look less attractive in the preview window.
  • Videos, flash content shows as a black/puzzle icon in the preview snapshot but Google is working on making them visible on Instant Preview very soon.
  • Inclusion of Instant Preview to search results has not changed the ranking algorithm and how clicks are tracked. Previewing a page using Instant Preview does not count as a click.

Google is hoping that this feature will help users save their time while searching for something and at the same time refine their search results by having a quick glance at the website before actually going into each of them individually.

I mentioned this in my previous post on Google Instant; I am a big fan of this feature. The layout and design of a website plays quite a role in determining if I am going to purchase from the site or not.

Will Google Instant Preview influence which websites you choose to click through to when searching? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

Discussion (4 - comments)

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