Sara Beaudoin is the Marketing Communications Manager for SearchPro Systems.
Once again, Google had adapted to stay up to date with other search engines and to minimize your search time. Google may have been a bit behind other search engines on this one, but they have launched Instant Previews. When logged into your Google account, simply enable Instant Previews here. Once enabled, you will see a magnifying glass next to the title of every search result. Click on any magnifying glass once, and you will see a preview of the website to the right. The preview window is the full length of a window, and about a third of the width.
The benefit to users is to avoid the pogo effect of clicking on a result, quickly dismissing the page, clicking the back button, and clicking a new result to see if the second webpage is any better. Instead of all the clicking and loading, users can click a magnifying glass, then hover over any search result and view an instant preview of the webpage.
So, does another benefit for users mean a change in SEO? Not exactly . . . well, not directly, at least. Users will obviously be more likely to click on a link if the instant preview shows a well designed, easy to navigate page with photos, images and videos. If your company’s website has all of those things, then you probably have nothing to worry about. If your website is lacking, however, now may be a crucial time to update your website. Users are very judgmental when they first open a website. If it’s not pretty, if it’s difficult or confusing to navigate, if there’s too much to read, or if it’s boring, they’ll navigate to a different site within 10 seconds. You need to provide them with an exciting and intriguing website to hold their attention beyond the 10 seconds, and now, beyond the 1 second they’ll spend looking at your site’s instant preview!
If your site is lacking, you may see a decrease in traffic now that users can see an instant preview first without even having to waste a curiosity click. In turn, your search engine ranking may drop, which is where Google’s Instant Previews may start to affect your SEO campaign. So, be aware, adapt, and vamp up your website!