"Instant preview" in Google Search results

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Guy Levine
on 10/11/10

Google has introduced a new feature in the search results to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for, called "Instant Previews". This aspect of the search results provides you with a preview of the page you will be visiting, before you decide to click on that particular search result. Its quite similar to Google Images, where this has already been rolled out. This feature, also highlights, based on your search query, the most important aspects on that page, allowing you to be able to make a faster decision on which page is most relevant to you, similar to flicking through a magazine.

Google customise the page for you by identifying what it deems to be the relevant areas on that page, stitches them together and produces a thumbnail image of that for you in less than 5 seconds.

In order to activate this feature, you just need to hover over the title in the search results or the little magnifying glass that you see next to each of the search results. On their blog, Google have said that “In our testing, we’ve found that people who use Instant Previews are about 5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click.” This new feature allows you as a surfer to be able to evaluate the pages quickly before actually clicking through to them; this means that you’re most likely to find what you are looking for on that page when you visit it.

Some top tips and benefits that Google have highlighted for making efficient use of “Instant Previews” in their search results and getting the most out of this feature:

  • Compare results faster and efficiently – flick through all the top-10 results to get a glimpse of the page and whether you deem it to be relevant to the query that you have typed in.
  • Relevant content – the ability to be able to pinpoint and quickly see relevant content related to your search query so that you can quickly evaluate whether that page is providing you with what you were initially looking for.
  • Interaction – the new “instant previews” means that you can interact with the page, if you’re looking for certain visuals in relation to your query such as tables, images, forms, etc, then this allows you to pinpoint these on the page, giving you the ability to better evaluate which search result is most relevant to your search query.
  • Revision + time saving – if you had come across a particular page previously that you want to re-visit, then with “Instant Previews” you can because you can quickly hover over each result rather than clicking through to each page to identify whether it’s the right page.

This is a new aspect of Google search, and one that we think will enhance the search experience, allowing us to be able to quickly locate what we are looking for in a faster and more efficient manner.