How many time have you been infuriated by clicking on a result, finding the site offers nothing you care for and get back to the result page only to click on the next link? Popularly known as ‘pogosticking’ this going- to- and- from- a-site business substantially delays your search process. Few years back, Google Instant Preview feature was introduced to save the users from pogosticking and speed up the user’s searching process. Put simply, Google Instant is a way for you to see what’s on a page that’s listed in Google’s search results without bothering to actually open that page and for that matter leaving the Google search page.
You can compare this feature with window shopping that lets you steal a glimpse of what is on the offer inside the store. Simply by hovering your mouse over the search results, you will come to find a fairly true to life graphical representation of the destination URL popping up on the right hand side of the search page. However, before using this feature, you will have to activate the Instant Preview mode, simply by going to the ‘search setting’ option.
With its Instant Preview feature, Google takes visual search to the next level. An answer to Bing’s attempts at claiming the spotlight with an array of innovations (Merging algorithms and business with Yahoo search, Facebook integration, share option for query results are just a few among them), Google Instant offers the users multiple benefits.
In the preview thumbnails, it is easy to locate the highlighted areas. This in turn helps you easily identify the highlighted search items. Suppose you are searching address from a web page that has information of several thousands of properties. Now a look at the preview page can save you from unnecessarily scrolling through the whole page to locate the person’s info. A glimpse on the Instant Preview can tell you exactly where to find the info on the webpage.
More importantly, it speeds up the users’ decision making process, by allowing the user to click on a certain link that he thinks would be helpful. As opposed to initial years, when first two lines of a web page were displayed by search engines under a search result, over past three years, the preview feature has evolved considerably to make a lot more data available to assist a searcher. Most recently, other pieces of information such as date, site links, cached content and others are also included in the preview. Thus, with Google Instant preview, a searcher is expected to achieve a wide range of tasks.
“Using Google Instant Preview, a search query is matched with the web’s index, in order to spot the parts of each webpage that is relevant, then put them together and subsequently present the outcome preview in a search-customized manner to the searcher, just in the matter of a split second” a Google Blogger noted.
In order to generate instant preview image Google has to crawl through a web page. This means: by examining the instant previews of your site’s web pages, you can get an understanding of what is actually seen by Google bot. The preview of flash and image heavy pages do not help the user much and so these pages are not likely to do well in this respect.
In case Google search page generates a preview, which is different from that of the actual page, you must get alert that Google might be having difficulty crawling your web page. You can take the aid of Google Webmaster Tools to compare instant preview to your live web page. By applying landing pages optimization best practices, you can improve the preview of your pages.
With Google’s increased emphasis on visual search, the Instant previews s may have a big impact on CTRs, bounce rates, and ultimately on your company’s bottom line. The pages containing a table, chart or picture makes it easier for the users to spot what he/she is looking for. If Google is to be believed, the sites using all those will be 5 percent happier with their results. A well defined description of the purpose of the site will help you in the matter.