Google Removes Instant Previews From Search Results, Adds New Dropdown Menu For Each Page [Updates]

Ads by Google

Google launched Instant Previews in 2010 to make searching easier, but the instant graphic preview of a website in the results page may not have taken off as Google intended. A slightly altered version of the Google Search page appeared recently, and this one doesn’t include the Instant Preview feature. Instead, a tiny green colored arrow drops down to reveal a menu with three options – Cached, Similar and Share. While this seems to still be in an experiment phase, chances are you’ll see the change if you head over to google.com right now.

It might be difficult to spot the green arrow at first, as it resides right next to the green URL of a each website, but you’ll see it once you know what you’re looking for. Clicking on the Similar option in the new dropdown menu activates the ‘related’ operator, returning websites that are similar to this one. The Share option, which isn’t always available, opens a Google+ sharing dialog for the URL.

Instant Preview was a useful feature for quickly scanning through the search results and picking a page that best matched your query, such as a website with clear layouts and minimal advertising, for example. Instant Previews helped because we do gravitate to pages that visually look professional. It’s difficult to say if doing away with Instant Previews is a temporary move or a permanent one, but TechCrunch cites a Google spokesperson as saying: “We’re constantly making changes to the layout and features of the search results page.” As TechCrunch points out, the wording of this response suggests it is a permanent update and not an experimental one.

Google’s reason for the move aside, it does make for a cleaner page, grouping three seemingly unrelated options under one roof. In one fell swoop, Google made the page less cluttered on one hand, and managed to bring Google+ sharing one step closer on the other.

Will you miss Instant Previews if they never come back? What do you think of the new menu?

Source: Techcrunch

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Awesome Websites
Awesome Websites
137 Members
Deep Web Communities
Deep Web Communities
80 Members
Best Anonymity Tools
Best Anonymity Tools
73 Members
Tips for Privacy Obsessed
Tips for Privacy Obsessed
44 Members
Best Music Services
Best Music Services
43 Members
Online Security Tips
Online Security Tips
41 Members
Web for Kids
Web for Kids
32 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (17)
  • Ria

    I am certainly missing it. I used this feature all the time. Bring it back!!!! :-( :-( :-(

  • Seph

    I for one used it a lot, I still have the reflex of looking for it to avoid useless/spammy pages. I think i twas a dumb move to remove entirely instead of adding it as an option. Even if Google remains, IMO, the best search engine, it seems lately they are removing features/options (like the background picture, define, instant preview) or making stuff less user-friendly than before.

  • Patrice

    I will miss it terribly. I found instant value in it and I used it daily. I do a lot of research, and it gave me a quick peek into the character of a site — substantive, e.g., or fraught with ads. I now feel like I’m searching blind with Google and am beginning to look into other search options.

  • Gregory Jackson

    I really miss the instant preview already and have been trying to find one out there. Please bring this back. I really rely on this.

  • hank

    I used instant preview by default and it served me well. It seems it was poorly used due to low awareness and poor promotion. Most people i’ve asked weren’t even aware it existed but i’m sure if they had and tried many would find it invaluable.
    Does any other search engin e have such a tool ? If so i’m going there even if the search results are not as good.

    • Saikat Basu

      I will be publishing an article which looks at the options. SearchPreview is one for Chrome.

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.