Google Instant Preview – 5% increase in satisfaction?

Google now lets you see search results before you click them, how will this impact on site design and optimisation?

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In it’s quest to become the fastest thing on the planet, Google has revealed it’s latest feature – Google Instant Previews.

The Google Instant Previews feature will help users choose between search results by displaying an image of the landing page to the right of the link. As shown below:

Googel Instant Preview

Google has achieved this by essentially taking a screenshot of every web page in its index. Users can view the images by using the magnifying glass that will appear to the right of all search results, as shown above.

The key element of this feature is that the area of the page where the search term appears will be highlighted on the preview image. This will be useful when searching for specific information in content heavy web pages.

As Google puts it, “Page previews let you see the layout of a web page before clicking the search result. Looking for a chart, picture, map or list? See if you can spot one in the preview.”

Internal testing by Google has shown that searchers who use Google Instant Preview are 5% more likely to be satisfied with the search results. This may not sound like much, but when you consider the number of Google users, it’s a considerable sum.

For well deigned sites that have a layout to suit the preview feature, this comes as great news. For those that don’t, there is debate as to whether it will impact on clicks.

It’s too early to say for sure what impact Google Instant Previews will have on site traffic and how in turn this will effect site design and optimisation.

Watch this space.

14 thoughts on “Google Instant Preview – 5% increase in satisfaction?

  1. I’m not interested in previews, instant fill-ins, search suggestions, wallpaper, etc.

    I started using Google because their search interface was clean and simple, no bells, no whistles, no song & dance.

    With each forced opt-in of change Google have vexed me and made me reconsider if I need Google or I should go elsewhere. I wish they would default all new features opted-out and let users decide whether they want them or not.

    Some of these features are bandwidth killers for large organizations, downloading a large footprint for each search or triggering traffic as a user types. Where I work we have periods of network saturation and if Google insist upon taxing our infrastructure with unnecessary gadgetry we will likely establish a policy blocking their access.

    1. Richard – that is a valid point and one that we have often mulled over here. The beauty of Google was always its simplicity (and the fact that it typically showed decent results) and there are a lot of reasons why they should be careful about moving away from that.

      You can of course turn instant off, but it doesn’t look as though you can turn off the image previews.

      We will just have to see if it goes down well and people use it. It will obviously be an overhead for them to do it and it is likely that it may just vanish if nobody ever uses the previews.

      It would be interesting to see the maths behind the ‘5%’ increase in satisfaction. The question mark in the title of this post was just a subtle hint of irony….

  2. I’m not interested in previews, instant fill-ins, search suggestions, wallpaper, etc.

    I started using Google because their search interface was clean and simple, no bells, no whistles, no song & dance.

    With each forced opt-in of change Google have vexed me and made me reconsider if I need Google or I should go elsewhere. I wish they would default all new features opted-out and let users decide whether they want them or not.

    Some of these features are bandwidth killers for large organizations, downloading a large footprint for each search or triggering traffic as a user types. Where I work we have periods of network saturation and if Google insist upon taxing our infrastructure with unnecessary gadgetry we will likely establish a policy blocking their access.

    1. Richard – that is a valid point and one that we have often mulled over here. The beauty of Google was always its simplicity (and the fact that it typically showed decent results) and there are a lot of reasons why they should be careful about moving away from that.

      You can of course turn instant off, but it doesn’t look as though you can turn off the image previews.

      We will just have to see if it goes down well and people use it. It will obviously be an overhead for them to do it and it is likely that it may just vanish if nobody ever uses the previews.

      It would be interesting to see the maths behind the ‘5%’ increase in satisfaction. The question mark in the title of this post was just a subtle hint of irony….

  3. No one has said anything about SPEZIFY there search page is pictures only relating to your search, type in Jamo and you get prety much instantly get all related articals to that subject in pictures, you should try it out, it takes getting used to, and i think its good for those who have time on there hands. :>)

    1. Thanks for that Clive – definitely an interesting one, but I think you have hit on something when you say that you may need time on your hands as it isn’t immediately obvious what is going on and the few searches we did didn’t really produce especially good results if the truth be told…

      Perhaps one of the biggest issues they face will be the flash factor. Not much good if you are an iphone / ipad user… Luckily, we are android nuts, so less of an issue.

      Interesting to see it though, so thanks for pointing it out.

  4. No one has said anything about SPEZIFY there search page is pictures only relating to your search, type in Jamo and you get prety much instantly get all related articals to that subject in pictures, you should try it out, it takes getting used to, and i think its good for those who have time on there hands. :>)

    1. Thanks for that Clive – definitely an interesting one, but I think you have hit on something when you say that you may need time on your hands as it isn’t immediately obvious what is going on and the few searches we did didn’t really produce especially good results if the truth be told…

      Perhaps one of the biggest issues they face will be the flash factor. Not much good if you are an iphone / ipad user… Luckily, we are android nuts, so less of an issue.

      Interesting to see it though, so thanks for pointing it out.

  5. I think Google has done *another* wonderful job with instant preview.

    I didn’t like the Instant as much as like the Preview. Great for quickly scrimping over a web-page to get an idea of type of information present on it.

    And I found out, preview does not kick in unless you click on the zoom icon. So after each Search query you do, you have to deliberately click one of the zoom icons before preview is activated. That seemed like a good UI to me.

    Time will tell if this would prevail but I have a good feeling about it.

  6. I think Google has done *another* wonderful job with instant preview.

    I didn’t like the Instant as much as like the Preview. Great for quickly scrimping over a web-page to get an idea of type of information present on it.

    And I found out, preview does not kick in unless you click on the zoom icon. So after each Search query you do, you have to deliberately click one of the zoom icons before preview is activated. That seemed like a good UI to me.

    Time will tell if this would prevail but I have a good feeling about it.

  7. Google has been changing stuff.. Its now super fast and with the instant and instant preview they are taking it a level higher. Its still clean and simple though just this add ons really makes it more comfortable and with awesome search results Google is getting stronger day by day.

  8. Google has been changing stuff.. Its now super fast and with the instant and instant preview they are taking it a level higher. Its still clean and simple though just this add ons really makes it more comfortable and with awesome search results Google is getting stronger day by day.

  9. One thing though Google needs to wok on is the bad press they are generating due to their dominance…They need better PR people..

  10. One thing though Google needs to wok on is the bad press they are generating due to their dominance…They need better PR people..

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