In an attempt to offer a more snappier and better search engine results page (SERP), Google has yesterday announced a new “Instant Previews” feature that allows users to preview pages before clicking on them. The company says it will cache popular pages from popular websites for the previews, and for other websites, it will generate the screenshot on the fly.
The new feature is called “Google Instant Previews” and it adds a magnifying glass icon beside every page allowing users to instantly view a screenshot preview of the page before clicking on them. Google would also highlight the search term in that page making it easier for you to navigate and browse through the page instead of having to go through each and every element on the page.
Google Instant Previews essentially gives users the ability to see a website before they visit it. Google accomplishes this by taking a screenshot of every webpage in its index and giving users access to it via a magnifying glass icon that sits to the right of every search result.
The key element to Instant Previews though is that Google highlights the section of the page where the search term occurs. Imagine you’re trying to find information on a specific person on a page that lists dozens or hundreds of people. Instead of having to scroll through the entire page to find the person, you can just look at the Instant Preview and see where they are on the page. “This is the next evolution of finding a result on a search engine results page,” distinguished engineer Ben Gomes told yesterday.
Google Instant Screenshot Previews Video Demo:
Google also said this feature only works because of speed, noting that previews are usually identified in under one-tenth of a second. “Once you click the magnifying glass, we load previews for the other results in the background so you can flip through them without waiting.“
Is the new feature going to really speed up the user’s search experience, or is it yet another complicated layer on what was once a simple and easy-to-understand search interface? That’s up to users to decide, but according to the Search Engine King Google’s internal testing, people using Instant Previews are 5% more likely to be satisfied with the search results they click. As an Google user what do you think about this Instant Screenshot Preview feature? Will Visual Search Results negatively impact the way SEO used to work?