• http://www.blindfiveyearold.com ajkohn

    Any chance Google will provide Webmasters will data on preview usage? How many times was a result previewed? What was the clicks/previews ratio? Or will we have to look at the URL parameters to see if we can capture preview clicks?

    In deciding whether this is a feature you would want to block, these types of metrics would seem useful.

  • http://onreact onreact

    Can it be that you don’t actually need to visit the site anymore? You can view it inside Google itself. Bad news for webmasters. Google becomes worse than scrapers if you ask me.

  • http://www.williamalvarez.com William Alvarez

    You forgot to mention that websites that are built on Flash won’t render properly in the preview window. I recently took this screenshot http://twitpic.com/2zik6g

  • seo effect

    @onreact Yes, I think this is bad for site owners that need engagement to sell bannerviews on there pages. I don’t think the banner viewed in the Google instant preview will be counted as a view nor a click.
    For websites that need leads or transaction like shops there is no alarm sign ringing.

  • http://www.mwd.com joehobot

    That thing was I think SOOO stolen from Firefox Add-On called CoolPreviews basically it ads loop to each link and if you click on it or mouse-hoover you get previews of the website before you actually click on it.

  • http://www.cmsbuffet.com/ CMSBuffet

    I think this is good for some sites and bad for others.
    one example of a web site that can benefit would be locksmith. if i am stuck outside and all i care is a phone number, then this is great.

  • http://mcarter@receptional.com Miles Carter

    It looks like the screens are being created with a chromium based browser, based on the preview for one of the sites I look after including a loading bug that’s only shown in webkit browsers. Definitely supports CSS3 in preview, ie drop shadow which is a big win, I was dreading this causing a return to using CSS2 styles.

    One effect it could have is getting IE6 users to upgrade their browsers as they might notice that some sites don’t look as good in their browsers as they do in the preview.

  • http://fr.linkedin.com/in/adwordsgoogle mickael

    What I noticed as well is that callouts seem to be displayed only when meta description tags weren’t used as description snippets (or when a page doesn’t even have any meta description in its head section). Does it mean we should even avoid using the meta description tag from now on???… in order to get this callout, which, from my point of view, is a nice-to-have on your preview image. Of course we know that this meta tag isn’t as important as it may used to be (especially for ranking factors), but is this the end of it?

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk/ KJ

    I can see that this would be a useful feature if you’re trying to find a particular site that you’d recognise visually. Having relevant content that’s immediately recognisable on the previewed page is going to be even more important.

  • cheeker9

    Great article Danny. Wanted to chime in here that yolink excels where Google Instant Previews fall short because we search links and documents to present actionable, keyword-rich results and our API can layer over any existing search functionality or website where as Instant Preview is limited to Google’s SERP.

    Instead of bringing back a tiny snapshot, yolink extracts the most relevant paragraphs from websites and documents, based on search terms, to facilitate speedy finding.

    Read more about yolink in SearchEngineLand here:
    http://searchengineland.com/yolink-goes-after-publishers-with-search-preview-tool-45742

    Give it a try and check out the Labs section of yolink.com, to see what yolink tech can bring to your site.

    Full disclosure: My name is Brian and I work with yolink.

  • http://www.ultimateminds.com AudaiLouri

    I found this to be quite useful. Their was a similar firefox add-on but I believe these are previews while that add-on created the site.

  • http://www.shrinktheweb.com shrinktheweb

    @Danny
    I wasn’t aware they had plans to add this feature to the sponsored listings. Good info!

    @William Alvarez
    I noticed the missing flash too (and some CSS rendering issues). Hopefully they will get that sorted soon enough. I run a service that provides screenshots like this and we are able to capture flash, any rich media, and render CSS correctly. However, we have our own render engine and it sounds like Google may still be working on theirs. :)

    For those interested in embedding instant preview type of screenshots, take a look at our PagePix service: http://www.shrinktheweb.com/content/google-instant-previews.html.