Google testing full page previews in search

Just weeks after changing the way we search in a web browser and rolling out Instant Search, Google is at it once again. Today, according to Patrick Altoft of Blogstorm, Google is testing full page previews and blue backgrounds on hovered over search results.  In page preview mode, a thumbnail of a website is displayed to its corresponding result entry. In the preview, certain areas of text are highlighted that are relevant to your search criteria. It is a full page preview, with only some large sites cropped off at the bottom. Clicking anywhere in the image will bring you to the site.

Image Credit: Blogstorm

Many have been unable to reproduce this. Including myself, but sites like the TheNextWeb are reporting that this is indeed happening, so this likely isn’t a hoax. This is different than the thumbnail previews that Google introduced a year ago as a search option (available in the left hand options bar). This iteration of the page preview shows a full size representation of the site with more detail and visibility.

Surprisingly, and this may be a bug (it’s in testing, after all), but it seems that people, like Atloft, who are able to access the functionality are reporting that Google has stopped indenting results from the same page, as you can see in the first few results in the above image. That doesn’t seem like the most efficient “innovation” Google could come up with, and will likely be resolved soon.

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29 Comments

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Hmm, can't wait to see if it will come out...keyboard shortcuts, instant. and maybe full page preview...I'll never need to leave Google again.

I have yet to even see Instant Search in action.

I'm told you actually have to have a Google account and be logged in for this to work at all. Either that, or this just plain doesn't work on IE8.

What's the scoop?

Sweet Fills the leftover space, Google is making search great now, this plus Google Instant , Instant in Chromium is awesome!

Who cares if it's copying Bing? It's useful enough there so it's a no brainer to copy it.

And anyway, it's different to Bing in that it's showing a visual preview of the page instead of extracted text and major links. (I think I'd find the extracted text more useful to be honest.)

DonC said,
Who cares if it's copying Bing? It's useful enough there so it's a no brainer to copy it.

And anyway, it's different to Bing in that it's showing a visual preview of the page instead of extracted text and major links. (I think I'd find the extracted text more useful to be honest.)

Google makes *BAD* copies of Bing features. I mean, are you kidding me? Google Images infinite scroll? Full of buggy gray boxes, I reverted to the classic Google Images. Makes me think it's good that Bing is there, because since Bing launched, Google started copying those improvements. Side bar filters, large image backgrounds, pastel logos, wow. I'd be happy if Google Maps don't look crap anymore.

thenonhacker said,

Google makes *BAD* copies of Bing features. I mean, are you kidding me? Google Images infinite scroll? Full of buggy gray boxes, I reverted to the classic Google Images. Makes me think it's good that Bing is there, because since Bing launched, Google started copying those improvements. Side bar filters, large image backgrounds, pastel logos, wow. I'd be happy if Google Maps don't look crap anymore.

The only bug I have seen with googles infinite image scroll is google does not let it run if the browser is Opera, the second I change the UA to something like Firefox or IE, it works fine and without issue in Opera, but by default, they block Opera users.

I have never had gray boxes or anything on it, maybe your browser is the issue?

Aside from that, all the features you have, good or bad, do not matter if your main purpose, being a search engine, doesn't compare to the competition (such as Bing not even being close to matching googles accuracy in my own experience).

Also, don't miss Google Chrome's new "Labs" feature (type in about:labs), at least if you're on the dev channel.

Instant
Makes the address bar load urls as you type.

It's surprisingly fluid. I thought it'd spend most of the time connecting to the site because it wouldn't keep up with my keystrokes, but it's actually quick enough to load the pages here.

This will increase the average time a person spends on Google while at the same time decreasing many junk sites click rates.

I'm happy with that!

TechGuyPA said,
Ok someone has to go there.....
This will make searching for p0rn easier.....do we call this Google Search - p0rn mode edition?
Hmmm...now that you mention it, good point, no more going to those crappy ad sites and more finding the sites that actually have the content you want!

TechGuyPA said,
Ok someone has to go there.....
This will make searching for p0rn easier.....do we call this Google Search - p0rn mode edition?

That will cause some problems for people who work in an office and occasionally have to use google. As long as you can turn this off it shouldn't be an issue though. I can see a problem where someone searches for something innocent and a random search result site got compromised and resulted in some very bad images showing up on their work computer.

ILikeTobacco said,

That will cause some problems for people who work in an office and occasionally have to use google. As long as you can turn this off it shouldn't be an issue though. I can see a problem where someone searches for something innocent and a random search result site got compromised and resulted in some very bad images showing up on their work computer.

Most of the time the safesearch filter does the job, so you wouldn't have to worry about porn popping up on your screen.

Rodrigo said,

Most of the time the safesearch filter does the job, so you wouldn't have to worry about porn popping up on your screen.
Good excuse if you get caught viewing it though "I swear, its this new damn full page preview google added".

Rodrigo said,

Most of the time the safesearch filter does the job, so you wouldn't have to worry about porn popping up on your screen.

It is a good point but nobody really worries about most of the time. It's the one time that it doesn't that matters.

Nathanael said,
That's pretty cool. It's great Bing exists, since Google have now stepped it up a notch.

I'm getting tired of Google copying Bing, that's so childish. Seriously Google, come up with your own innovative features!

Electric Jolt said,

I'm getting tired of Google copying Bing, that's so childish. Seriously Google, come up with your own innovative features!

I hope you're joking. Bing stole this concept from Ask and Ask probably stole it from someone else.

Electric Jolt said,

I'm getting tired of Google copying Bing, that's so childish. Seriously Google, come up with your own innovative features!
I'm getting tired of Bing copying Google, that's so childish. Seriously Bing, come up with something other then a search engine!

Honestly.....if you complain about a competitor copying its competition, you might as well complain about two products offering the same services. Also, since when does Bing have full page previews? I do not follow Bing as I find its results much inferior to Googles, but I have not heard anything about Bing doing full page previews, so how is google copying bing on a feature bing doesn't have?