Google is now showing Instant Previews — small thumbnails that show when a user mouses over an ad — for all search ads, presumably helping to qualify consumers before they actually click-through on an ad. The feature has been in testing for at least a week or so.
The company is touting the new functionality as a win-win for consumers and advertisers. Consumers get a sneak peek at the landing page before they click through on an ad, and advertisers don’t have to pay until the users actually click through. Once they do click-through, they’re presumably more interested in the advertisers’ product or service, given they’ve had a chance to preview what they’ll get on the other side.