As winter turns to summer, so does an unofficial Google experiment become a real feature. If you see a magnifying glass icon next to your Google results, click to see a preview of the page, along with your search text in context.
Following on the heels of the Google Instant update, Instant Previews are another way Google is trying to get you from typing out your thoughts to seeing your most-wanted result in less and less time. The Google team tells the New York Times that it will keep images of “a few billion popular web pages” cached on its servers, but it will generate previews for any site in “less than one-tenth of a second”. It also notes that its testing shows Instant Preview users to be “5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click”.
That’s heady stuff — but will you find Instant Previews useful, or just another blue icon on your results page? When does a thumbnail page preview help you out? We’re all ears in the comments.