In it’s quest to become the fastest thing on the planet, Google has revealed it’s latest feature – Google Instant Previews.

The Google Instant Previews feature will help users choose between search results by displaying an image of the landing page to the right of the link. As shown below:

Googel Instant Preview

Google has achieved this by essentially taking a screenshot of every web page in its index. Users can view the images by using the magnifying glass that will appear to the right of all search results, as shown above.

The key element of this feature is that the area of the page where the search term appears will be highlighted on the preview image. This will be useful when searching for specific information in content heavy web pages.

As Google puts it, “Page previews let you see the layout of a web page before clicking the search result. Looking for a chart, picture, map or list? See if you can spot one in the preview.”

Internal testing by Google has shown that searchers who use Google Instant Preview are 5% more likely to be satisfied with the search results. This may not sound like much, but when you consider the number of Google users, it’s a considerable sum.

For well deigned sites that have a layout to suit the preview feature, this comes as great news. For those that don’t, there is debate as to whether it will impact on clicks.

It’s too early to say for sure what impact Google Instant Previews will have on site traffic and how in turn this will effect site design and optimisation.

Watch this space.