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Google adds Instant Preview to search


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Google has added a feature to its search results that offers a preview of a web page before opening it.

Instant Previews appears as a magnifying glass icon next to search results, allowing people to save time by not downloading the wrong page, according to Google.

"In our testing, we found that people who use Instant Previews are about five per cent more likely to be satisfied with the results they click," said Raj Krishnan, a Google product manager, in a blog post.

"The previews provide new ways to evaluate search results, making you more likely to find what you're looking for on the pages you visit."

However, the move means that some web sites may need to be redesigned, according to Jim Warren, pay-per-click account manager at search marketing agency Greenlight.

"Google Instant Previews could have an interesting impact on pay-per-click. You can be sure that a negative reaction to a site layout or colour design would have an effect on online advertisers' percentage click-through rates, something they have not had to worry about in the past," he said.

"This in turn would also result in a drop in 'quality score' and an increase in cost-per-clicks, not good news for sites with a poor user experience."

Warren explained that some web pages rely on getting initial clicks with search engine optimisation rather than building traffic by using better design to entice people to use the site more often.

Instant Previews could also lead to a rise of copycat pages, Warren warned, which use a similar design to a big name brand to trick surfers into clicking on the page

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