Google rolled out their latest search feature titled: Google Instant Preview. Next to your Google search results you will now see a magnifying glass. When you hover over the glass, a pop-up will reveal a preview of the webpage for that result. This should allow internet users to view site content without wasting precious clicks.
In playing around with the new feature, I noticed it shows a preview of the last time the page was indexed. Therefore, if you update your page regularly, but the Google spiders don’t crawl your site for indexing regularly, you may be displaying old content in your preview. This may or may not affect visitors to your site, but is certainly noteworthy and an important factor when determining your site’s desired crawl rate.
I also noticed that the flash features didn’t load in the preview. This is yet another reason for companies and web developers to be careful of their use of flash, and animation in general, in their websites. As people begin to use this function for their browsing, large gaps of blank space, due to flash or other similar features, may deter users from visiting your site altogether. This could have major ramifications and impact on site visitors.
Ultimately, from a user perspective, I love this new feature. It should allow me to save some time when searching for particular information. From a developer standpoint, this new feature makes the home page of a website even more important. If users aren’t even going to have to click on your site link to view the content, you had better be able to grab their attention quickly and within a small amount of space.