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Google Instant modifies search results for your query, as you type. Now Google has extended Instant, in a manner of speaking. The company has added preview functionality to its search results, which means you don’t even have to leave the query results page.
For now, you will have to use a special page to test the functionality. Although it’s currently rolling out, it will take some time, like all cloud-based initiatives, to reach everyone.
It’s pretty easy to use: click the magnifying glass next to the search results and you’ll see a preview pop-up on the right hand side of the screen. Once done, you simply hover over any other magnifying glass to see more previews.
Additionally, relevant text is highlighted in what are known as “callouts” (shown). Some pages will have more than one callout.
Some pages will also have what Google calls “tears” (shown). As shown, it sort of tears the page so that less relevant information can be eschewed with the preview therefore showing better results.
Here’s what Google says in their blog post.
In our testing, we’ve found that people who use Instant Previews are about 5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click. 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. Here are some of the things you can do to get the most out of Instant Previews:
- Quickly compare results – A visual comparison of search results helps you pick the one that’s right for you. Quickly flip through previews to see which page looks best.
- Pinpoint relevant content – Text call outs, in orange, will sometimes highlight where your search terms appear on the webpage so you can evaluate if it’s what you’re looking for.
- Interact with the results page – Page previews let you see the layout of a webpage before clicking the search result. Looking for a chart, picture, map or list? See if you can spot one in the preview.
Instant Previews can be helpful for many kinds of tasks. For example, say you looked at a page before and need to find it again—with a preview, you can tell if any of the results look familiar. Or perhaps you’re looking for an official website—look for a logo and formal style and you’ll probably be able to identify it. Or maybe you’re looking for a how-to guide—it’s easy to spot a page with clear illustrations and step-by-step instructions.
Give it a shot, using the special preview link above, until it completely rolls out to the standard search page. We’ve tried it, and will be using it in the future.