Google on Tuesday announced yet another upgrade to its search results pages intended to provide more information so that users don't haphazardly click away: Instant Previews. These previews are as simple as a small magnifying glass icon next to a search result, which users can click upon to see a visual snapshot of the linked site. These snapshots may also include search terms highlighted in orange where they appear in the resulting page. That's about it.
"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,"
After searching for something, Google will return search results as usual, but next to the star icon that lets you favorite a link, there will also be a small magnifying glass. Hover over that icon and Google will pop up a preview of the page in question. Those without a mouse can see the preview by hitting the right arrow key; hit the down arrow key to continue seeing results.
The option will help people navigate results faster and not waste time waiting for pages to load, Krishnan said. Google will also highlight in orange the text that matches your search query to locate relevant content as fast as possible.
"Not long ago simply downloading an image could take 20 or 30 seconds, and even today many Web sites take four or five seconds to load," he wrote. "With Instant Previews, we match your query with an index of the entire Web, identify the relevant parts of each Web page, stitch them together and serve the resulting preview completely customized to your search—usually 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."
During testing, Google found that people using Instant Previews were 5 percent more likely to be satisfied with the results on which they clicked.
The feature is rolling out now and should be available in more than 40 languages in the next few days, Krishnan said.
The release comes several days after Google Instant was added to mobile devices. Instant, which debuted in September, provides search results as you type.