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Beyond Instant Results: Instant Previews - officially announced
Bddmed




msg:4228493
 3:40 pm on Nov 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Instant Previews provides a graphic overview of a search result and highlights the most relevant sections, making finding the right page as quick and easy as flipping through a magazine. 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.


[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

You can test it here:
[google.com...]

 

maximillianos




msg:4228797
 1:48 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am not sure how big of an impact this will have. How many general population users are going to even notice the icon? I didn't at first.

Plus I found the blurred image pretty useless. Curious to see stats after this rolls out. I would have to guess it will have a less than 5% impact on traffic and clicks.

scottsonline




msg:4228820
 3:29 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Max the only ones this will hurt are scrapers and spammers. Identifying a real eccomerce site by thumbnail is pretty easy and I think for most that is all that is needed.

idolw




msg:4228825
 3:41 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

They will eventually make it default for everyone.
From user's perspective I like it. I entered a digital camera name and was able to peep the sites. Was easy to identify the one I like even on my small laptop screen.

londrum




msg:4228832
 3:51 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

one interesting thing i noticed... all the images are encoded on the page, as base64 text, rather than as an actual image which you have to download.

Umbra




msg:4228857
 4:47 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

So what is Google's official position on cloaking for Instant Preview? I can imagine some scenarios where hiding some boring content (sort of like imposing your own split in the preview content) could make the final preview look more attractive.

randle




msg:4228877
 5:15 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Heavy Flash users beware if people actually start to use this feature, seeing sites with the bulk of the preview being the puzzle logo, or just blank.

mrguy




msg:4228879
 5:23 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

People who have flash as a good portion of thier home page are going be hurt because when previewed, the page looks unfishished and NOT how it was intended to be viewed by the visitor.

So, it's not just scrapers and spammer who are going be hurt by this if users actually start to use it.

HuskyPup




msg:4228886
 5:37 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

People who have flash


Oh yay...what a mess! We have one site completely flash and all I see is a blank black page with a jigsaw puzzle piece in the centre!

scottsonline




msg:4228892
 5:49 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

So far today it's under 3% using the feature.

mrguy




msg:4228898
 5:58 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

If I remember correctly, Ask search engine used to use the same type of preview and stopped using it.

MrWumpus




msg:4228918
 7:26 pm on Nov 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I suspect this will help me spot cloaking unless it's some other bot agent generating these.

I also noticed on one of my sites they showed a blank spot where I had an embedded youtube video.

People using bigger images will get a lift from this I think.

On the other hand, I'm finding myself browsing the SERPS using these and passing over a lot of sites that before I would just click on and look at. That's going to reduce traffic, but it should improve the quality of traffic since I won't be hopping on and off those sites in three seconds.

indyank




msg:4229054
 3:35 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

On the other hand, I'm finding myself browsing the SERPS using these and passing over a lot of sites that before I would just click on and look at


What makes you pass over a lot of sites? How are you knowing (through those previews) that a particular site doesn't have what you are looking for?

MrWumpus




msg:4229084
 4:36 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

What makes you pass over a lot of sites? How are you knowing (through those previews) that a particular site doesn't have what you are looking for?
For example, if I was looking for content and the preview showed an ad-heavy jumble of a site with small paragraphs, I'd figure it was one of those MFA sites. In another example, some sites ended up just being long sales-page letters with big bold sign-up buttons. Another example would be looking for a visually rich site about a topic, and seeing the preview was largely text without pictures.
mrguy




msg:4229091
 4:45 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Another example would be looking for a visually rich site about a topic, and seeing the preview was largely text without pictures.


Then you as a user are not having a good search experience.

Many Flash sites are visualy rich and contain great info and are not MFA or spam and because that preview does not show a shot of the flash, you see a page that looks like it's not done.

How has that helped the searcher in any way?

Because of that, you just might never click on the exact site you were looking for if they are using Flash which a lot of sites do.

If Google is going to implement new features every week, they should do right instead of half as*ed like they seem to do more and more lately.

tangor




msg:4229114
 7:14 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

GOOGLE AND JOBS:
Out to kill FLASH.

Two Titans have managed to marginalize a web function in a short period of time. Jobs says "No" as regards his critter and Google makes sure Flash does not appear in Instant Preview. "Too Tough To Display". Can Adobe survive this double onslaught? More at Eleven...


Tongue in cheek, kiddies, but I'll bet I'm not far off the mark:

Apple does not like Flash because of off-site/third party and Google does not like Flash because if slows down their "instant" and is more difficult to parse for serps. Will be interesting to see where this goes.

indyank




msg:4229116
 7:22 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

When i see the the preview for youtube.com, i see the japanese language version in the preview.Why is it so? I see this on a few other sites too.Isn't it misleading? What if searchers think that it is not something they were looking for and don't click on the site.

Likewise, when i try to search for apple.com.de, and look at the previews for the returned pages, they are in english. Well, these preview will confuse users more than helping them.

driller41




msg:4229150
 9:53 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

The point is how big will they make the previews, this is fairly harmless at the moment, but in another 6 months they will decide to scrape more content to 'improve the viewer experience'

Andylew




msg:4229165
 10:43 am on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WOW! love it. Finally something 'useful' after all the mayhem google have caused over the last few months.

Lovejoy




msg:4229210
 2:32 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing the link to the previews on Google.com or .ca. The link for testing it no longer works.

Andylew




msg:4229212
 2:39 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Cant see it in IE but definately there in Chrome

jimbeetle




msg:4229231
 3:41 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I've only seen it in Chrome and FF. With IE8 G's home page doesn't even have the "New" teaser.

aristotle




msg:4229237
 3:59 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been trying for two days to see these previews, but stiil haven't been able to, even though I'm in the U.S.. Yesterday I could see the little magnifier link, but nothing would happen when I clicked it. Today I can't even see the magnifier link.

graeme_p




msg:4229247
 4:27 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Many Flash sites are visualy rich and contain great info


I hate Flash, and my experience is that Flash sites are a lot less likely to contain good info.

As far as the feature goes in general, I see it on every search, and so far I have only used it to see what it does, and because I clicked it by accident. My feeling is that it gets in the way and is a huge UI mistake.

frontpage




msg:4229265
 5:29 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just another troubling step in google taking possession of your websites.

1) Replace your domain with a Google "Place" page for your website.

2) Remove ads from Instant Preview

3) Screen cap your website with readable text to avoid users actually going to your website.

frontpage




msg:4229269
 5:31 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

What we need now is a 'nopreview' metatag.

ken_b




msg:4229334
 8:50 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't use flash. So what's missing from the preview? What's missing is my logo, the image(s) and the ads.

I don't care that the ads are missing, that doesn't affect the visual presentation of the page anyhow.

But without my logo and the image(s) the page looks unfinished. Considering images are a BIG part of the draw for my site, not showing them is not good at all.

dstiles




msg:4229368
 10:13 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

The following is adapted from some of my postings in the WebmasterWorld forum "Search Engine Spider and User Agent Identification" topic "Google Web Preview"...

Reading the GWMT Help page:

"Google updates the Instant Preview snapshot as part of our web crawling process. Google also uses the user-agent Google Web Preview (Mozilla/5.0..."

Does this mean that the original preview is created by googlebot or by preview bot?

I block the preview bot with a 403 so it must be googlebot (but see below).

The google preview began working in the UK yesterday, as far as we can tell. Ghastly thing! After the test, turn off javascript again.

One of our client sites (at least) looks terrible: we've blocked furniture images from google in robots.txt (for most of our sites, in fact) so only the text is shown. I would not click on the page so doubtless the site will suffer.

On the other hand... one of our own sites blocks both img (furniture) and pics (topic photos) and the whole site is displayed IN FULL! So someone is disobeying robots.txt (and yes, it is correct!). (Just seen a second of our sites with full images including disallowed furniture.)

Since I have preview bot blocked with 403 they are either coming at the site through the punter's IP or are sucking via googlebot OR through an unrecognised IP using a "real" browser identifier.

The latter may be true. The punter option seems more likely EXCEPT I can't see any proxying of the punter's IP so if that is true they are also falsifying the source IP, which I can't see happening unless they have become really devious!

A client's site has pics in cache view but not in preview EXCEPT this site did not block pics until quite late (probably May 2009) and those images ARE shown, even though this breaks the recommendation in robots.txt. This is difficult to determine absolutely since pics on some pages are old and some new.

Another client site shows pics even though robots.txt says not to BUT only on some pages. These pics (AND furniture) have always been disallowed but again are in cache view (so google has been breaking robots.txt protocol for some time... never thought of that before regarding cache).

I'm guessing here that the missing pics are probably due to google not having scraped them yet.

Another client site we run has several iframes per page (not on all pages). This seems to have caused only minor problems to preview, which shows the full iframed page WITH contents for specific keywords (but not (always?) the pics but always the furniture). Furniture is shown but not product pics on the pages we've seen so far but again may be scraped yet for preview.

I think the NOSNIPPET tag should be replaced by or supplemented with a NOTHEFT tag.

graeme_p




msg:4229447
 3:09 am on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think this feature is a disaster for users. If you have a narrow horizontal resolution or a large minimum font size or you zoom in the previews overlap the SERPS.

Status_203




msg:4229579
 3:08 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Regarding using nosnippet rather than an extra "tag", and removing the need for searchers to visit the site:

In all the searches I've tried the text highlighted on the preview was also the text used in the snippet. Is anybody seeing anything else?

I have to admit my first reaction was "OMFSM! How dare they!", but I'm growing to like it (as a webmaster). I do wonder though if it's going to favour micro-focused pages, as they will be the most likely to have readable text (headings and subheadings) readable in the preview.

I have a "justification/description" for one of my sites in large text next to the logo/ above the navigation, and it shows up nicely. If this becomes widely used I can see all those blog posts about page formatting for scanning web readers being rehashed all over again!

Back to huge unstyled H1s and H2s we go! ;)

potentialgeek




msg:4229657
 6:23 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting geek feature. Curious to see average user response and bottom-line impact.

If it makes webmasters design better home pages is that a bad thing?

urfin_juice




msg:4229659
 6:26 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

What about 100% Flash sites? No preview?

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