First Google Instant – now Instant Previews

Fast on the heels of Google Instant, Google have announced another new search enhancement: “Instant Previews”

Instant Previews is a new kind of visual search result using image-based snapshots, which Google say will make it even quicker for users to choose the most relevant search result.

Instant Previews provides a graphic overview of a search result with the most relevant sections highlighted, which Google say will make finding the right page as quick and easy as flipping through a magazine. Users will need to click on a magnifying glass icon next to the title of each search result and a visual overview of the page will appear. After this users just need to hover the mouse over any other result to see a preview. The newly customised results should be delivered in under a tenth of a second.

Google’s testing found that searchers using Instant Previews are about 5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click. They say that previews provide a new way to evaluate search results, letting users see the layout of a webpage before clicking the search result – making users more likely to find what they’re looking for.

At the time of writing I haven’t actually seen Instant Previews in action, but Google believe that this new visual comparison of search results will help users not only compare results quicker, but also more easily pinpoint relevant content. So, watch this space!

NB: Previews only show on natural results – not ppc ads.

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