Google Instant Previews – Impact on SEO and PPC?

As a quest to provide its audience with a better user experience – and to some extent catch up with Bing – Google unveiled its new search feature: Instant previews.  The new feature provides a snapshot image preview of the web page on the SERP when hovering over a magnifying glass icon next to the search listing.

The idea is to provide searchers with a visual overview of the search results to help them choose the most relevant result faster.  As Google Instant previews lets users have a quick view of a web page before they visit it, this makes having visually appealing pages more important if you would like to improve your CTR.

The idea is not that new.  Bing has already been providing a form of text preview on its SERPs and Ask used to offer the preview option.  Google has combined and enhanced the ideas by storing a screenshot of the websites it indexes and displaying them on the SERPs. They also highlight the most relevant text from the page together with the image.

How Google Instant Preview Look Like

Google Instant Previews

When you click on the magnifying glass, the preview will appear on the right of the search result.  Even though the preview does not cover the organic search results, it does cover the PPC ads.   So, this can have an impact on the CTR for PPC Ads which probably Google is evaluating as well to see how it will impact their ad revenue and might make some adjustments accordingly.

Google Instant Previews will also have an impact on how companies deal with their site design and SEO.  Moving forward web page appearance will have an impact on getting a click.  The page title and Meta description tags still matter but now a web page’s visual appeal is a new contributing factor.  If your site is poorly designed searchers will simply skip your site and move to the next search result.

As Google will handpick the most relevant content on the page and highlights it on the Instant Preview, as always you need to make sure you have integrated relevant keywords into your web pages.   Some of important places to implant your keywords are titles, opening sentences, subheadings and closing paragraphs.

Even though Google Instant Previews will not affect your page ranking directly, your CTR overtime can have an indirect positive or negative impact on your site.

Filed Under: PPC AdvertisingSearch Engine Optimization


About the Author

Nima Asrar Haghighi is an Internet Marketing consultant with expertise in SEM (PPC Advertising), Organic SEO, RSS, Social Media and Web Analytics (Google Analytics IQ Certified). Nima holds an MBA in marketing, B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Project Management Certification, and CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) in E-commerce. You can reach Nima at +Google Plus or LinkedIn.

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