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Google Instant new feature – Previews

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday November 10, 2010 )

Is it just me or has Google rolled out more new features for search in the last 12 months than for it’s entire history? Anyhow, meet Google Instant Previews.

Here’s a sample search you can try (just click on the magnifying glass in the results).

The feature will also highlight a section of the page relevant to your search.

It’s a handy sort of feature I guess, and while it is a test feature for now; obviously it has the potential for general roll-out and what I’m in awe of is Google has the resources to offer this sort of thing – imagine how much extra overhead this must cause for Google if millions of people are using it simultaneously.

What goes on behind the scenes is amazing. The query is matched to pages, relevant parts of the page identified, stitched together in under a tenth of a second.

Given the preview is actually an image, I’m also wondering how often Google will update it. For example, you could launch a new, slicker design (ahem, something TTB is urgently in need of) and if the Google Instant Previews image is only updated every few months and this becomes a general feature in search, your previous design may haunt you for some time. However, given the content matching that’s done in the actual image, I’m guessing these images will update as the indexed pages do.

According to Google’s official blog, their testing has found people who use Instant Previews are about 5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click.

You can read more about Google Instant Previews here


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