Google Instant Preview

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Is seeing into the future a blessing or a curse?

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, never a truer word was said but we all do it don’t we. For instance take any slightly superficial decision you may have taken recently has your reasoning to the outcome ever been, “well I just liked the look of it.” It has hasn’t it. Even more extreme your likening of the external properties of one thing may have swayed you to choose it even though you knew the other option was the better slightly less pretty one. A shallow bunch we all are *sweeping statement alert, fetch pinch of salt…

So if we as a race like things that are pretty, attractive and pleasing on the eye what does this mean for websites following the introduction of Google preview.Which presents users with the option to view a snapshot of the web page without leaving the SERPs (see image).

Are we all going to be lining up at the centre for online cosmetic surgery, will we see a surge in the beautification and titivation of our websites just so that we can look good in that little window. We know that when you are searching something and you are scanning down the first page of the results, you mouse hovers over the preview…nah…nah…nah…oh that one has pretty colours, nice font etc… Even though the previous four may have been choc full of information and answered the very question that has plagued you all your life, you know the kind you search for:

“What is Dan Aykroyd’s wife called?” “How old is Steve Martin?”

You know the kind of life changing, earth moving questions that strike you when you are pondering out of the window on the train home. Anyway the subject is not the point its the process are we now going to not even bother clicking to explore a link are we just going to judge the worth of the website according to the preview?

A thought provoking piece of information and the inspiration for this article really made me stop and think. Previously it had been argued that there was a three second rule when it came to judging a website, within three seconds you would have initially made your mind up or partly judged a site. Now following the introduction of Google preview that moment of judgment has shrunk to just 0.3 seconds. The amount of time you now have to sell your site to prospective browsers in the Google dating market, 0.3 seconds?!

So what is the moral of the story? Internet marketers will always champion content and relevant unique content at that over masses of flashy song and dance so to speak. Don’t despair as cutting edge contemporary design and relevant, detailed, optimised content can go hand in hand. Now you will just have to be aware that people may be judging your website purely on looks but remember when they click through to your site you want them to stay so give them something to stick around for.

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