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Google's Instant Previews Makes It Easier to Search Web

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November 09, 2010

Google's Instant Previews Makes It Easier to Search Web

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Google (News - Alert) has announced a new feature which allows users searching on Google to be able to see quick previews of websites before clicking on them.

The "Instant Previews" feature announced Tuesday will soon be available and allows users to avoid websites that are irrelevant or cluttered.

In a recent blog post, Google’s Raj Krishnan, a product manager, says that with “Instant Previews” it is even faster to choose the right result. Instant Previews provides a graphic overview of a search result and highlights the most relevant sections.

The new feature is rolling out now and should be available in more than 40 languages in the next few days.

To use it, click once on the magnifying glass next to the title of any search result and a visual overview of the page will appear on the right. From there, hover your cursor over any other result to see a preview. If users have recently stopped using the mouse to search, now you can navigate to a result, hit the right arrow key to see the preview, and hit the down arrow key to keep browsing.

In Google tests, users who use Instant Previews are about 5 percent more likely to be satisfied with the results they click. The previews provide new ways to evaluate search results, making users more likely to find what you’re looking for on the pages you visit.

Instant Previews allows users to:

·         Quickly compare results - A visual comparison of search results helps you pick the one that’s right for you. Quickly flip through previews to see which page looks best.

·         Pinpoint relevant content - Text call outs, in orange, will sometimes highlight where your search terms appear on the webpage so you can evaluate if it’s what you're looking for.

·         Interact with the results page - Page previews let you see the layout of a webpage before clicking the search result. Looking for a chart, picture, map or list? See if you can spot one in the preview.

With Instant Previews, Google matches a query with an index of the entire Web, identify the relevant parts of each webpage, stitch them together and serve the resulting preview completely customized to your search—usually in under one-tenth of a second.

 Once you click the magnifying glass, Google loads previews for the other results in the background so you can flip through them without waiting.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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