Google Improves Search with Instant Previews

By Cindy Waxer November 09, 2010

How many times have you waited for a Web page to load only to discover that the website you selected isn’t what you had hoped for? Google plans on curbing such frustration by allowing users to see previews of websites before clicking on them.

Dubbed Instant Previews, the brand new tool 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, surfers need only click once on the magnifying glass next to the title of any search result and a visual snapshot of the page will appear on the right. From there, users can hover their cursors over any other result to see a preview.

Instant Previews works for Google Web searches, as well as searches for news, video and local businesses.

According to Google testing, people who use Instant Previews are about 5 percent more likely to be satisfied with the results they click. The previews provide new ways to evaluate search results, making users more likely to find what they’re looking for on the pages they visit.

Instant Previews follows the roll-out of Instant Search which Google unveiled in September. Instant Search is a search-before-you-type tool that instantly takes what you have typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions—yielding a smarter and faster search. Google testing showed that Google Instant saves the average searcher two to five seconds per search.

And in early November, Google announced that smartphone owners running Google’s Android software will be able to run Instant Search as well. Google plans to launch Instant Previews in 40 languages over the coming days.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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