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Google launched Instant Previews Google Launches Instant Preview To Make Searching Easier [News] Google Launches Instant Preview To Make Searching Easier [News] Read More 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 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

  1. Ria
    September 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm

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

  2. Seph
    May 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    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.

  3. Patrice
    May 3, 2013 at 6:41 am

    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.

  4. Gregory Jackson
    May 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    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.

  5. hank
    April 30, 2013 at 8:41 am

    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
      April 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

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

  6. Thirukkumaran
    April 29, 2013 at 5:34 am

    I'm very frustrated to hearing the news about Google removes instant preview.
    I'm missing it. why don't Google reconsider it to bring again?

  7. Johnethen Maximillion
    April 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Very disappointed. I really like the instant preview. No other search engine (to the best of my knowledge) had that feature. Saved me from having to click on allot of worthless search results. Big mistake, Google techies. At least make an add-on or tool for those that liked it.

  8. Mark
    April 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    R.I.P instant preview.

    gonna missed it...i love it actually

  9. Rama moorthy
    April 28, 2013 at 6:55 am

    missing Instant previews ..! any extension for that ...?

    • Saikat Basu
      April 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      There's the SearchPreview Chrome extension which is nice (and popular). In fact, an article on Instant Preview alternatives will be published in a couple of days time by yours truly :)

  10. macwitty
    April 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I'm so tired of all the clicking. Trying to avoid it by shortcut and hotkey but Google seems to love clicking. Almost every change they have made has led to more clicks Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  11. Claudia
    April 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I spent hours trying to figure out why the instant preview wasn't there! Yes, I will miss it. As I miss the instant preview in images search.THat I miss the most! I don't know why they need to change things that are already useful, but at least they should post a line and tell us the news in the google search page.

    • mindianajones
      April 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      I will miss it too. I used this feature all the time. :-(

  12. Scott M
    April 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I for one won't miss the instant previews and find this a real improvement.The previews were were very seldom of use to me and now they are not cluttering up my page unnecessarily.If I do feel I need assistance the arrow will be there and is able to direct me into different directions that may offer a new perspective on items I am searching.As much as I really dislike Monopolies like themselves and resent Google's tracking and vending of my personal information,I do have to admit I am in awe of their ability to introduce new ideas and tools that leaves others scrambling to keep up.Google forces other Companies to become not only better but more innovative.Still,even though I remain more than a little paranoid of Corporate monoliths seizing control of the web,I do applaud for their role in devising some amazing applications.Their browser and search platform stands alone at the pinnacle of usefulness and speed.I will definitely challenge any abuse of their near monopoly over some of the more important web activity that they hold majority sway over,but at the moment they continue to be a very positive force for innovation.

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