Google Testing Instant Previews On Ads (Here’s What It Looks Like)

Google is testing a new feature that marries its Instant Previews with AdWords. The test gives searchers a chance to see the ad’s landing page without clicking on the ad.


As you can see, all of the ads on the screenshot above — whether above the organic results or in the right column — are showing the small magnifying glass icon for Instant Previews. The preview image itself seems to be work exactly as the feature works in organic search; the search query, “lcd tvs” in this case, is called out and shown in bold on the preview.

When Instant Previews launched in November, Danny Sullivan reported that Google was planning this:

Ads, by the way, will also get an Instant Preview feature in the future, Google told me. There’s no set timeline for this, however.

Google has already pushed Instant Previews to mobile devices and created a video preview format, too.

(screenshot by Zeon Search via Twitter)

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: General | Google: AdWords | Search Features: Enhanced Listings | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Tad Miller

    So how is this impacted by multi-variate testing and website optimizer? Does it count as a page view for Website Optimizer?

  • Jaap Willem

    I suppose the click on the Instant Preview won’t be counted as a click? That would make the traffic from Adwords even more valuable. New statistics reporting would be nice as well with how many people clicked on the instant preview and the CTR of that.

  • Jim Rudnick

    …sigh…geez, really Google? I think that this is just over-kill and not a needed item at all….

    using same for my own personal shopping will just never happen…but then I guess there’s folks that need this kind’a push….




  • i_chris

    what’s this going to mean for ad CTR for advertisers? I would assume that this will drop considerably for some advertisers…really interested to see some initial results on this test.

  • jrsanfeliu

    Hi Matt,
    Congrats for the post!

    Instant Ad Previews is definetely an interesting new feature of the Google SERPs, after the effects og Google Instant in SEO results, now’s the time for the PPC results!

    It’s been so interesting to think about the possible effects of this in the Adwords Campaigns.
    I think that CTR would be affected by Instant Ad Previews, because it can happen that an advertiser with a very good Ad position (because a good campaign optimization or because he’s paying a high CPC) can be affected by a lowering of his CTR because an ad with a bad position but a better looking Landing Page can obtain the clic from the user, because he could see the previews of the landing pages of all ads and he has decided to clic on the ad with worst position but better landing page.

    I have wrote a post in my blog talking about the possible effects of Instant Ad Previews in Adwords Campaigns named Google Instant Preview in Google Adwords: Instant Ad Previews Take a look and we’ll discuss the issues! Thanks

  • Aymster

    The Instant Preview on Ads does not show up if you are opted in to the +1 button experiment.

  • N Bartolomeo

    Would love if somebody could answer Tad Miller’s comment about Google Optimizer…Will IP be integrated?

    It will add a whole new level of complexity to testing if so…

  • Unleaded_Group

    I agree that I think it would lower CTR but hopefully the clicks received would be more qualified and it would lead to higher conversion ratios. 

    If anyone wants to continue this discussion, please contact me at

  • Unleaded_Group

    I agree that I think it would lower CTR but hopefully the clicks received would be more qualified and it would lead to higher conversion ratios. 

    If anyone wants to continue this discussion, please contact me at

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