Google Instant Previews

I recently found a cool feature on the Google Search Results, it was a small magnifying glass beside the title. When I clicked the icon, I was surprised to see a screenshot of the page at the right side of the results. Aside from that, it highlights the excerpt of the result directly from the screenshot so you know exactly where Google get the text from. Below is a screenshot of what it looks like:

Click to see full image
A preview of Google Instant Previews

I don’t know when this service started and I think I’m so stupid not noticing this great feature until now. According to the Google, the benefits of this feature are:

  • Quickly Compare Results. A visual comparison of search results helps you pick which result is right for you.
  • Pinpoint Relevant Content. Text call outs highlight where your search term appears on the web page so you can evaluate if it’s what you’re looking for.
  • Interact with the Results Page. Page previews let you see the layout of a web page before clicking the search result.

A very marvelous idea indeed! I think this would help prevent users to click search results that are mainly spam. It can guide the users to select which pages are relevant to the users’ needs. According to the Official Google Blog:

[…] 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. 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. […]

I just wish that this technology would be suited to low-bandwidth devices like old hand-held devices and some set-top boxes. Since images are a bit bulky to download, it may take some time for the images to appear when you’re on a slow connection.

Introducing Instant Previews

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