Well we had Google instant as I reported, and now it apperas that google are testing a raft of new search interfaces, one of which is kinda like an enhanced Hybrid of Bing preview feature, and the Ask.com binoculars but with pictures and snippets.
The image left was screenshot by Benjamin Rubin so thanks to him for taking the time to do that.
As you can see, it does work to allow the visitor to evaluate a site before committing to actually visiting, but will people use it?
Personally I think it is good but it certainly has a shift now with regard design and display. google are rending pages, what are they using for the thumbnail screenshots? If your site doesn’t render in their screenshot thumbnail, then it could well cost you clicks.
DESIGN is so important for this feature to allow you to benefit. A poorly laid out site could well end up seeing dramatic drops in traffic as people ‘pre-approve’ the sites they will visit
Another interesting feature is the snippet. Snippets are something I have been spending a lot of time on of late, as the snippet you have displayed can be the difference between click and no click.
Snippets pull the visitor in during the all important attention interest, desire, action phases of buying your site as the site to click on. This new feature will make snippets way more important than ever, as multi snippets are also displayed on occasion.
One question here though is that of the Opera browser once again being pushed out. Just as google have pretty much pushed Opera out of instant, analytics and AdWords especially AdWords, it looks as if this feature will not work in the opera browser, at least in beta anyhow.
Another question is that of connection speeds, I have noticed that while out in my local Starbucks, google turned off instant (no not the coffee) as the connection was too slow. Is Google getting ahead of itself, because my search interface while in Starbucks, hung for an age before instant was turned off, and THAT was not a good user experience.