Nov 23, 2010

Google Instant Preview

The big G has launched the new Instant Preview feature a week or so ago.  Basically it gives you a small screenshot of search result with the search term highlighted within the image for your viewing pleasure.

Although quite a nifty little feature, there's a few questions being raised from an SEO point of view.

Firstly, if searchers can preview your page before deciding to click through, does this impact on the number of visits that you'd normally receive?  We're assuming that normally a person would click on the link, then quickly scan your site before deciding to bounce away if they haven't found what they're looking for.

Now they're essentially making up their mind about the result based on a partial screen cap of your site.

Secondly, by displaying the tiny screen cap, will searchers be more likely to be making up their mind on whether to visit your site based on its design?  Will it be a case of design over relevance?  Following that train of thought, will site owners now be more likely to try to optimise their site for Page Preview display?

Should we be spending our time browsing search results or browsing the actual result pages?  Is Google now trying to own the entire search experience?

Food for thought...