The search giant has announced the latest update release to the user interface (UI) after testing, we saw a few experimental results over the last few weeks and now it’s official.
When someone clicks on the magnifying glass on any result, a zoomed-out snapshot of the underlying page appears to the right of the results. Orange highlights indicate where highly relevant content on the page is, and text call outs show search terms in context.
These elements let people know what to expect if they click on that result, and why it's relevant for their query. Google testing shows Previews makes searchers 5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click.
Instant Previews have not changed the search algorithm or ranking in any way. It's the same results, in the same order. There is also no change to how clicks are tracked. If a user clicks on the title of a result and visits your site, it will count as a normal click, regardless of whether the result was previewed. Previewing a result, however, doesn't count as a click by itself.
This does mean that your site design has the chance to attract visitors. Professional looking sites with all the relevant on page content could be winners here.
We will be monitoring click through rates (CTR) for our clients sites and reviewing any impact this may have, however we suspect this may mean spammy or poorly designed sites will get less clicks and the relevant traffic will continue to click through as usual, although well designed sites may see an increase in CTR if found to be more visually appealing than the other results on offer.