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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Arnold Tijerina

Arnold Tijerina President & Corporate Storyteller

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Google Announces 'Instant Previews' Search Feature

I blogged about this here on DrivingSales on Oct 6th, and according to this article from ABC News, Google is now rolling out the "Instant Previews" search feature over the next couple of days.

This is the quote from this article that stands out and reinforces my views on this game-changing Google feature that I blogged about:

"The "Instant Previews" feature announced Tuesday is meant to help people bypass websites that are either irrelevant or simply too visually cluttered for their tastes. It works for Google Web searches, as well as searches for news, video and local businesses."

All I can say is that you better know what people are seeing in the preview of your website very quickly after this feature goes live. Now, instead of bouncing from your website, they'll just never have to go there.

I'm still unsure how flash-based websites will translate into a "preview". It "could" be that it just shows as black IF it is a live preview (versus an image). 

SEO on Google has just added a new dimension to your search results. Now not only do you have to worry about WHERE you show up in search results but also HOW your website appears in the Instant Preview.

I'm sure you don't want people "bypass(ing)" your website. 

I, personally, think this is a HUGE game-changer. Websites that have relevant, "preview-able" content are going to get more traffic.

What are your thoughts?

Eric Miltsch
@Arnold, I'm with you on this...thinking this could create a new emphasis towards creating more relevant page copy and a greater need for effective page layout. That preview window may level the playing field for sites not ranking on page 1. Focusing on sharp copy and UI/layouts may help more than ever now...
JD Rucker
@Eric I agree with you about agreeing with Arnold but I disagree with leveling the playing field for sites on page 2. Come on, Eric - you're giving poorly optimized site owners false hope :P Seriously though, this definitely kills flash. Having flash elements on a site is okay, but here's what an all-flash site looks like in Site Preview: http://i.imgur.com/0xhSJ.png
Arnold Tijerina
I was curious how a flash-based site would appear in the preview and suspected the flash content wouldn't show which you've now confirmed, JD. Last i checked, Google wasn't showing previews for me yet (when I wrote this blog). Since consumers will presumably using the preview to see if the site they are thinking of going to contains relevant information, it "might" be a good strategy to have a large image on your home page with an attractive message (ie. Lowest price Toyotas in Dallas, TX.. or something creative) that would be easily viewable and readable within that small preview box. What do you think about that?
Eric Miltsch
@JD - Heh..def. wasn't implying that slackers would now be found easier, rather more opportunities for exposure on the front end of the highly competitive terms (EX: used cars) Looking forward to seeing how users respond to the previews - wondering if it'll turn out to be a helpful feature or something perceived as just an extra bell & whistle that's underutilized...?
JD Rucker
It's a semi-useful gimmick in my opinion. As much as I personally love the feature, I can't imagine mass adoption long-term, nor do I imagine people looking for products or services will preview a ton of sites before visiting. It goes back to "be at the top and don't worry about it."

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