Google has begun testing yet another new feature for its flagship search product, offering entire website previews when you mouseover search results. Before you know it, the enter key and the mouse button will go completely extinct and you'll simply have to visualize the information your in search of and Google will make it appear on your screen.
Google introduced its Instant Search product early last month, offering as-you-type search results and suggestions. With this new feature, users can type in their search terms and simply mouseover the results as they appear to see if they're appropriate. If nothing is coming close, they can continue modifying their search terms.
SEO Consultant Patrick Altoft first noticed the feature, saying that they appear to be full-page previews with some interesting highlighting by Google.
One of the fascinating things about this is that they are highlighting certain sections of the page in orange and expanding the text to provide a snippet of information. This shows that they have the technology to know exactly where a piece of text is on every single web page. The snippets highlighted are not always the same as the snippet in the search results.
While it certainly seems like a great feature for users, we have to wonder what the effect on advertising and pageviews will be. Another big question is, just how real-time are these preview results? If we're seeing a search result for a dynamic page, are we getting a real-time preview or a look at a cached version from minutes, hours or even days ago?