Samizdata - 6:06 pm on Nov 16, 2010 (gmt 0)
I have already completed a test where an advertising message is displayed as the preview
In my view, this is how it should have been all along - give the webmaster control of the "thumbnail" for corporate branding purposes, a kind of hybrid avatar and favicon, if you will.
Obviously this will be counted as black hat by google
We shall see (I have conducted similar tests).
In the current implementation webmasters will no longer feel able to keep images out of the index (because their previews will suffer). It is an absurd waste - and hardly "fair use" - to screenshot every page in the SERPs, but that is where we are.
So, staying on-topic ("how we can benefit from it") I would say that in order to benefit from previews you must, at the very least, lift any restrictions on indexing images as a prerequisite.
Unless, of course, feeding the Web Preview bot a generic promotional image is allowed.