Google has officially stopped instant previews from search results. The cancellation of the feature is said to be the result of low usage by searchers. Instant previews launched in November 2010 and were incorporated with AdWords Instant Preview and Sitelinks Instant Previews. Website owners could even see how their site looked and monitor instant previews through Webmaster Tool.
The original concept was to save time for users browsing the internet enabling them to take a quick sneak peak at a web page before clicking through and visiting the web site page. Such low usage by consumers clearly indicates that the feature was not needed or wanted or that it did not give a clear indication of the website in the preview box. It may have also been unclear to the user that the feature even existed and as a result low volumes clicked on it.
Almost two and a half years later Google has decided to drop the feature as a spokesperson explained, ‘As we’ve streamlined the results page, we’ve had to remove certain features, such as Instant Previews. Instant previews saw very low usage by our users, and we’ve decided to focus on streamlining the page to benefit more users.’
The announcement was met with some upset from Google users and the search engine giant has since introduced a drop down green arrow where a cached page can be viewed.
It is no surprise that Google has taken the decision to remove the feature if the amount of usage is low. It is also thought the preview feature did not fit the new approach Google is taking for its display of search results.