Google Instant Previews: Fewer Wasted Clicks

Google Google Instant search for mobile devices

Google Instant Previews show users an image-based snapshot, or a visual search result, which the company said makes it faster for users to select the correct search result from the pool of results to a specific query.

"Instant Previews provide 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," Google Product Manager Raj Krishnan wrote in a blog post.

To use Google Instant Previews, users 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 side of the screen. Users can then hover their cursor over any other result to see a preview.

According to Google, testing found that people who use Instant Previews are about 5 percent more likely to be satisfied with the results they click and make them more likely to find the pages and results for which they're looking. Google added that Instant Preview lets users quickly compare results visually and flip through them; pinpoint relevant content with text call outs that can highlight search terms as they appear on specific pages; and interact with the results page to see the layout before clicking and determine if a desired chart, picture, map or list is present.

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Krishnan added that Instant Previews also helps when trying to find a site you've visited before; when looking for a company's official site; or when looking for how-to-guides.

And a key to Google Instant Previews, Krishnan wrote, is that it's instant. Gone are the days when it takes 20 seconds or 30 seconds to download an image or several seconds to load a Website, he said.

"With Instant Previews, we match your 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," Krishnan wrote. "Once you click the magnifying glass, we load previews for the other results in the background so you can flip through them without waiting."

Google said it is rolling out Instant Previews now and it should be available in more than 40 languages over the next few days.