On November 9, 2010 Google Instant got enhanced with Instant Previews. Announcing the new functionality Google wrote:
Instant Previews provides a graphic overview of a search result and highlights the most relevant sections, making finding the right page as quick and easy as flipping through a magazine. To use it, click once on the magnifying glass next to the title of any search result and a visual overview of the page will appear on the right. From there, hover your cursor over any other result to see a preview.
The new functionality is called to help “quickly compare results”, “pinpoint relevant content” and improve user interaction “with the results page” [source]. Whether it will cause positive or negative effect on CTRs and conversion rates, time will show, but for here are some interesting articles on the things that digital marketers must know about Google Instant Previews:
- The Good and Bad of Google Instant Previews (from Website Magazine) — Apparently, the Instant Previews aren’t kind to every type of website, messaging, or graphics (e.g.: Flash gets no love).
- Google’s Instant Preview May Just Shake Up Web Design Forever (by Fast Company) — While “previewing a result… doesn’t count as a click by itself”, it may predetermine the click.
- Instant Answers About Google Instant Previews (at SearchEngineWatch.com) — Take time to review your own website(s) through Google Instant Preview, and remember to keep an eye on the evolution of the Instant Previews (and its popularity among your target market).
- Google Instant Preview — Influence on User and Its Optimisation (by MagsTags.com) — Wondering what kind of influence Google Instant Previews may have on the clickthrough rate, and how to optimize for better CTR results? This is a good post to review.
- Google Instant Previews – Eye Tracking shows it’s game changing (via SimpleUsability.com) — Yep, you’ve read it right: it may be an absolute game-changer with its “different way of choosing” and “finding relevant content”. Read the article for some interesting usability findings.
- How will Instant Preview affect e-commerce design? (at Econsultancy.com) — There is the potential for Previews to impact e-commerce site design. If the adoption of this functionality speads, how should etailers respond?
As always, if I’ve missed an article that belongs to the above list, please do let me know by posting about it in the comments below.
3 thoughts on “Google Instant Previews: 7 Must-Read Commentaries”
Thank you for mentioning my post, Geno!
I am usually quite sceptical with Google’s explanations why new facilities are being launched but I need to admit that this new functionality really seems to save user time (which is not the case with Google Instant or Google Image search:) but that’s my opinion…
The eye tracking results are quite surprising, though. Do you think that the fact users usually don’t even notice the orange box with highlighted keywords is caused by the fact that they’re not very familiar with the new tool? Otherwise, it doesn’t make any sense to optimise our landing page copy having Instant Preview in mind. What’s your opinion?
Thank you for chiming in, Magda, and it’s always good to mention a good post (so, no need to thank me).
It is very strange indeed that end-users missed the orange box with highlighted search terms. Hard to tell/guess why. If anything, that particular part of the tool was really obvious to (and appreciated by) me personally. Some of the other above-listed articles say that many users didn’t take notice of the Instant Previews option, and that’s pretty surprising to me too. It opens up (wide and vivid) on the left as soon as you point on the page title. How could you miss it?
Hi, Geno! One of our analysts here at Bruce Clay, Inc., Sean James, wrote a great piece on how Google Instant Previews is changing things now and how it could affect SEO in the future. It’s called, “Google Instant Previews: Murder in the SERP”: http://bit.ly/h9f5WO