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Google Instant Preview – is it changing the way you search?

Nov29

Written by:
2010/11/29 08:34 AM RssIcon

Google Instant Preview is a new feature Rolled out by Google. Google Instant Preview is another instalment of Google Instant.

Google Instant completes searches while they're being typed into Google's search field. The idea is to significantly reduce the time spent searching. My wife was really impressed by this new feature. She almost though it was eerie the way Google knew exactly what she was looking for.

What is Google Instant Preview?

Google Instant Preview

When you do a search on Google you would have noticed a small magnifying glass next to your search results.When a user clicks or hovers over the magnifying glass, a screenshot of that webpage will appear on the right hand side of the search results page.

Basically it gives you a quick glance of the webpage without actually visiting the webpage.

The new added feature is aimed at speeding up the searcher's experience. Or is it? Some have said that it is just another complicated layer on what was once a simple and easy-to-understand search interface?

How does this change the way you search?

Google's own research revealed that on average searchers using Google Instant Preview are 5% more likely to be satisfied with the search results they click after seeing a visual preview next to the organic listing.

But they don’t tell you how many people actually use the Google Preview Magnifying glass.

The question that I ask, is two fold:

  1. Have you and how often have you used the Google Preview?
  2. In using the Google Preview, was it significant in your decision to visit a web page over another one shown in the search results?

How does this change the way you design web pages?

If users are inclined to use Google's preview, and their decision to visit your and my page or website is reliant on what they see in the preview, then how we design our pages becomes more significant.

The first big issue is the lack of Flash support. Google Instant Preview does not currently support Flash, and replaces any Flash technology with that nice big puzzle piece image (familiar to all iPhone and iPad users). Don’t overuse Flash. Stay away from Flash websites.

The single mindedness of your blog/site/page becomes more important. The way your site is designed will affect the way it is previewed and subsequently affect the choices searchers make.

  • Use large branding on the top of your page.
  • Make sure your navigation is as simple as possible.
  • Don’t cram too much information onto one page. Keep it simple.
  • Use large colourful images above the fold. This will attract attention and invite clicks.
  • Use a Larger font with more white space over your entire site.
  • Use a larger font size with bolder emphasis on your introduction, blurb or first paragraph.
  • Create bigger and larger visual separations between page elements like paragraphs.
  • Make sure your site/page looks good when an image is taken and resized significantly.
  • Contrast is going to be key. A darker background with lighter font will probably work better. Still unsure about this though.
  • Make sure your search keywords and phrases are emphasised, bolded and near the top of your page.

Conclusion

Google’s certainly trying to make searching easier and a better experience. But at the same time web designers and SEO specialists have more to think of.

Do you think this new preview feature is significant, why? Do you actually use Google Preview and has it altered the way you search and visits sites?

Watch a video of how Google Instant Preview works here below.

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