Google is now more instant than ever before thanks to a new feature called Instant Previews. Now, when you skim a list of Google search results you have the option of turning on a preview of the webpage. To do this, you simply click the magnifying glass beside any result. Once it’s toggled on, all of the previews will appear as you skim down the page.
In addition to showing a snapshot of the website, it sometimes pulls out a quote from the page. I thought it was only doing this with blogs, but I can’t find a pattern to which sites have highlighted text and which don’t.
From a user standpoint, this is a pretty nifty tool. It will help you locate exactly what you’re looking for without having to click link after link. And that’s why it’s bad for marketers and anyone else looking for traffic to their site.
Now, as a surfer, I’m not as likely to click through on possible matches to my search or even try a new site if I see the one I’m looking for right away. And those parked pages? They come in loud and clear.
The upside is that websites with clear, well-designed home pages could fare better in search results with Google Instant Preview. Sloppy sites and those designed simply to gain clicks won’t be able to hide behind a clever URL anymore.
One thing is for certain, Google isn’t resting on past successes, they’re out to reinvent search and then reinvent it again. I’m not a fan of Google Instant, but Preview I could learn to like but all of this reminds me of my son who stands in front of the microwave impatiently waiting the 30 seconds it takes to heat a piece of pizza. Instant may help you get your work done faster, but I fear it’s taking all of the joy out of discovering what’s out there.
What do you think? Is Google Instant Preview a good thing?