Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Google has announced its “Instant Preview” function on webmaster forums and through a variety of press websites. Basically Google Preview adds to the current Google search format by allowing you to view a small snapshot of the search result landing page alongside usual search results. This means that web design and layout play a much more significant role in your Search Engine Marketing efforts whether they are paid listings or organic listings.
How the “Instant Previews” Function Works
Along with your usual search elements such as the title, URL and description, Google searches now display a small magnifying glass icon to the left of each search result. When a user hovers their mouse over or clicks on this icon a small snapshot preview of the search result landing page pops-up to the left of the search result. This zoomed out web design layout image also contains orange highlights of content that is relevant to the users search. They will be able to view the keyword densities and the various locations of this keyword almost instantly.
This visual guide to the layout or web design of the result allows users another piece of information in a second which they will use when deciding whether or not to click on a search result. Faster searches with more information mean that users will be more discriminate against inappropriate web design. Companies and individuals will need to pay even more attention to the function and visual appeal of not just the website in general but every single page in the site.
Google stated in there launch newsletter release that “using Instant Previews makes searchers 5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click”. It must be noted that Instant Previews does not change the Google Search algorithm and subsequent keyword rank placements. Whether someone viewed your preview before clicking through to your website will not affect your website statistics.
Web Design guidelines for better searches
Apart from the usual Search Engine Optimisation best practise guidelines for web design such as clean/simpler code, appropriate use of style sheets etc some new considerations come into play when designing your website.
The best place to start would be to assess the overall look and feel of the website first. After that assessing individual pages becomes necessary in a way that can be overwhelming for companies and individuals with a large number of pages. Then the time comes for critical page-by-page web design analysis would be to look at your website statistics and to create a list of the pages with the highest number of visits. Each month or week set a target number of pages to assess and you will eventually have meet your goal of getting the best out of the Google Preview search in good time.