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Google Instant Preview


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#1 scouseflip

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:49 AM

Hi All

Not sure if you have seen this change to the Google SERP's - Instant Preview I don't see that this has any SEO implication but thought worth a mention out of interest!

One thing has struck me with this and also the Place Search layout changes, is that they seem to be taking space away from the right in hand column paid listings. My first reaction to this was surprise - why would they actively choose to obscure links that generate click revenue in order to put more emphasis onto the 'free' placements in the organic results?

If I was cynical I might suggest that they would prefer users to be clicking the paid results at the top of the page, because they demand a higher click cost! But to be fair it cold also be seen as a genuine move to improve the user experience...

QUOTE
In our testing, we’ve found that people who use Instant Previews are about 5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click. The previews provide new ways to evaluate search results, making you more likely to find what you’re looking for on the pages you visit.


I personally think that this could be a pretty useful feature to have as a user - I like similar features in other area's such as the thumbnail/most visited page in Chrome and IE 9, the iPhones album cover browser etc - previews are useful.

Certainly poses a question or 2 from the other side of the coin though because people might end up doing more window shopping without actually clicking through to the site first - if so then should we make sure that any key selling messages, USP's and CTA's are easily visible in the preview of a page (i.e. Big and Bold, NOT in flash which does not appear to be captured in the preview).

We might even want to start further abusing our page footers (on top of the endless list of keywords) by adding in your sales message in pink size 80px IMPACT font - a while new kind of spam... wonderful happy.gif

Or maybe it won't mean a thing and I'm just looking for an excuse to delay getting stuck into my monthly reports... whistling.gif


EDIT: attached a couple of screen grabs to show what I mean about having big and bold sales messgaes NOT in flash... Its like a beefed up text snippet!

Big, bold and not in flash
[attachment=964:hh_ss.jpg]

Otherwise
[attachment=965:fd_ss.jpg]

Edited by scouseflip, 10 November 2010 - 04:57 AM.


#2 Jill

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:39 AM

Wow, I missed that instant preview announcement yesterday.

Will have to look at it more but my first thought is that it's going to wreak havoc on clickthroughs.

#3 qwerty

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:41 AM

I'm already seeing articles on designing for instant preview, like this one.

#4 Jill

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:04 AM

Hmm, that's interesting Qwerty. Talk about getting on something quickly!

Danny also has a good summary of how it all works:

Google Instant Previews

#5 scouseflip

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:46 AM

2 interesting articles there!

On click through's, I wonder if Google are going to give us any feedback (e.g. via GOAN or WMT) on how many previews your serp listing has had and if they clicked through or moved on...

I for one would be interested to know if people searching for my content/products are previewing and deciding that they do not want to click into the site. It has always been good practise to build web pages where our visitors can easily identify what a site/page is all about at a glance so not great shake up there, but now there is another consideration in getting that across in a thumbnail screen shot of that page!

If I am relevant to a search but fail to get from preview to click, I need to know about that so I can work out what, if anything, I have done wrong or failed to do. Just hope we get some visibility of this data - otherwise I can only think that we would have to take our historical click throughs as a benchmark and make assumptions about the impact of this new feature - can't help but think these assumptions could be somewhat flakey considering the scale of changes going on in the google serps at the moment.

From what I see so far this is a very good move for the users so IMO is to be commended - just gives us one more to consider when putting our sites together!

#6 Jill

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:42 AM

One thing that wasn't clear (to me at least) is if this is going to be rolled out for everyone, or only those that physically go in and sign up for it through their link.

Did anyone see anything that said one way or another? Right now you have to click on a link to enable it.

#7 scouseflip

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 12:32 PM

I actually did not sign in or click any option for this - have cleared cookies etc and retried and same again... Can not even find a way to disable it (not that I want to!)

#8 qwerty

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 12:37 PM

Actually, I don't see a way to disable it. I have it on now, either because everyone has it by default, or because I followed the link in Danny's article yesterday, but either way, I'm not seeing a link to shut it down.

[edit] Yeah, what scouseflip said.

#9 Jill

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 03:06 PM

Hmm...I thought maybe you had to click the button on this page:
http://www.google.co...nstantpreviews/

I haven't clicked it, and I don't see it.

Prolly won't either, if there's no way to disable it. That seems weird.

#10 qwerty

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:18 PM

Well, even after you've enabled it, it's not like the previews appear on the SERP by default. You have to click the magnifying glass to get it started. And I just checked on something I wasn't sure of: you can run a search, click the image to enable the previews, then run another search and the previews won't still be enabled. On the other hand, if you run a search and enable previews, clicking through to the next set of results will leave it still enabled, so it's apparently based on the search, and not the session.

#11 Michael Martinez

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 04:45 PM

I gather from Danny's article that the feature will become worldwide.

It appears that clicking on any one magnifying glass activates all the previews for a search results page. Clicking on any one of those magnifying glasses again turns off the previews.

It does not seem to me that the enabled state extends to other queries. The user has to turn it on again.

I looked at the preview for one of my blogs and noticed that the preview image is older than the actual page cache Google shows me.

#12 Jill

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:40 AM

It seemed to have turned on for me automatically too.

QUOTE
I looked at the preview for one of my blogs and noticed that the preview image is older than the actual page cache Google shows me.


That's surprising because I happened to look at my twitter profile with it and it had my last tweet which I had just made a few mins. before.

#13 scouseflip

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:56 AM

QUOTE
That's surprising because I happened to look at my twitter profile with it and it had my last tweet which I had just made a few mins. before.


My experience so far is more in keeping with this - my cached snapshot matches the cached page (in the handful of pages I have compared)

#14 qwerty

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:33 AM

I think a twitter feed (especially one that probably has a lot of followers) will get updated very quickly, since social search results seem to be updated live. But I'm looking at the preview of a static page I updated on Sunday, and it's not showing my changes. Instead, it looks the same as the current cached copy, which is dated November 4.

#15 Jill

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:19 PM

Yeah, it does make sense that they'd use their cached version for this.




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