Google have announced an “instant previews” tool to reduce pogo-sticking and allow searchers to preview a site before they click through and experience the disappointment of not finding exactly what they want.
It really is a cool feature that will hopefully reduce bounce percentage rates making for easier analytics analysis. The feature also serves as quality control for both user and website owner, in that sites are likely to receive better quality visitors and searches better quality sites. If you don’t like the look of a site you don’t need to click back and forward you can just preview the site in the same Google window. When a user enables the search tool in Google it becomes possible to scroll down using the arrow key on the computer keyboard to obtain an overview of the content of each listed website.
This is so much more than a thumb nail preview option. Google presents a large image of the website and extracts relevant text to give an overview of the sites theme and content. Callouts are used to highlight text relevant to your search. There is also a feature called a ‘page-tear’ whereby extra bits of pages relevant to your search are torn off from the website and displayed within the preview. The previews appear smoothly and extremely quickly by simply scrolling over each search listing.
As a website owner you can opt out of allowing your pages to be previewed, but unless your website isn’t as good as your description then why would you want to. You can opt-out by using the nosnippets meta tag.
Go for a test run yourself by visiting the following link: http://www.google.com/webhp?esrch=instantpreviews