Oct 092010

Google is currently testing full page previews of Websites entered as
queries into the search box, a search engine optimisation expert discovered.

When some users type in a search query and hit Enter, they may see search
results highlighted in blue. Hovering over those search results pops out a
preview of the Website associated with query to the right of the results pane.

The preview, which users may click on anywhere to go directly to the
Website, roughly offers the full Web page, albeit with some cropped to fit the
limited space on the right side of the screen.  

Google also highlights some sections of the page in orange and provides
snippets of information under the results that are pulled from the Website,
said Patrick Altoft, director of search at Branded3.

Altoft made the discovery using Google’s Chrome Web browser in incognito
mode and reported it in his company blog Oct. 6.

Asked about Altoft’s find, a Google spokesperson told eWEEK, “At any
given time we are running between 50-200 search experiments.”

This has been the company line for the last four years, but it’s worth
noting that the last time users spotted such a radical experiment it was a
taste of Google’s Instant Search in August.

Google would go on to launch it at a news event that made a splash in September.
The technology prompted financial analysts to rethink their estimates of
Google’s search ad monetization.

“We think such an improvement could increase the total volume and
frequency of searches as users adopt the automation,” Jefferies and Co.
analyst Youssef Squali said in a research note, adding that it “may lift
revenue per search (RPS).”

Think Equity analysts said Oct. 7 that Instant Search could boost Google’s search
revenue 5 percent in the near term.

Full page previews aren’t the only experiment that Google has some users
buzzing about.

Search Engine
Land noted that Google is playing with connecting users’ Twitter feeds
with Google News, a move that would fall under Google’s search integration
arrangement with Twitter from last year.

The integration manifests in this Friends
box under the Recent items section on the right of Google News, Google said. It wouldn’t make sense to surface random Twitter
“friends” in front of any user, which is why users will sign in with
their Twitter user name.

This won’t be mistaken for Google Me, but it’s definitely another sign that
Google is somewhat serious about social media.


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