In the last 24 hours Google have introduced Google Instant Previews to the Google interface and user experience which allows you to preview the website prior to clicking on the actually link. It is a very nice AJAX effect and perhaps useful to a searcher who can tell from the preview the type of page they are about to click.
My thoughts on this are-
· The page quality and design can be seen prior to visiting the site and this will hopefully improve the design of websites so they can look good in the preview.
· It can be slow to load, This is quite a big factor considering how quickly results are delivered with Google Instant Search and Google’s passion for delivering results quickly.
· Longer pages may have an increased click through rate as the preview displayed is bigger and more eye catching to the user.
The main down side is paid search. All the ads that appear in the right hand column are obscured by the preview. The paid adverts are Google’s main source of income and I find it hard to believe that Google is happy blocking a paid ad with a natural search results page.
I am sure that Google have carried out thorough research into this but it appears they have favoured the “searcher” over the “advertiser” and this may become something Google regrets if it sees a drop in advertising revenue. If so I am sure Google will be quick to drop the preview.
The only upside for Google is advertisers will need to spend more money to see their advert is displayed in the top 3 spots that are not obscured by the preview pane.