Google Instant Preview – How Does It Affect SEO? | Fluidity SEO

Google Instant Preview – How Does It Affect SEO?

November 18th, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Google’s new full page previews on the SERPs have been in place for a little while now, allowing us to take a proper look at how they may affect things from an SEO point of view and we’ve come to the conclusion that the answer is “hardly”.

At least, not in the case of actual ranking. But an SEO’s job should never be just to improve the ranking of a website, it should always focus on the end game and consider ranking a step towards it. Click through and conversion to enquiry or sale should be the goal and when it comes to this Google Instant Preview DOES matter.

If you’ve yet to see it in action, take a look at this screenshot:

Looks alright, doesn’t it. It’s not hugely intrusive as you have to click either the little magnifying glass icon you can see or the excerpt (but not the link – that still takes you to the webpage, obviously!) to view the preview. There was concern it would appear just by hovering, which would have proved very annoying indeed. But I digress…

Oh yes…how does this affect us as search engine optimisation specialists? Well, as click throughs and conversions are our ultimate goal, we’re now going to have to be concerned with how a website or landing page looks, that it renders correctly in the preview and that any text highlighted is relevant (more on that in a moment).

Let’s deal with all you people who have Flash only websites. Google hates Flash as much as Apple hates Flash. You might want to look away now…

Oh dear. All Flash website owners might now want to consider creating a HTML version of their site and directing Google to it – assuming they think that people using the preview function are more likely to click through to a site they can see, rather than a big grey box!

That’s an extreme example, of course. But sites with any Flash content will be previewed with grey boxes where their formerly no doubt beautiful content should be. Non-Flash sites should also take a look at their preview and see if there is anything they could do to attract the all important click as well.

Now about that highlighted text I mentioned earlier. On certain searches and results, Google Instant Preview highlights relevant text (containing words from the search term used) on the webpage in an eyecatching orange box.

THIS is where a good SEO can make a bit of an impact.

Good content is King, as we all know. Google is now underlining that with this little addition and a well crafted, well designed page with relevant content and a nice design is going to capture the clicks . Placement of the copy is, of course, important, though as you can see if it appears below the fold, Google will handily snip the page and display it anyway!

So how much should you worry about Google Instant Preview and optimising for it? Not a huge amount – but you shouldn’t ignore it either. It is just another thing an SEO has to bear in mind when going about his business.

In fact, perhaps web designers and developers should worry about it more. After all, Google Instant Preview has been described as the death of Flash (well, as speeding up the demise of it anyway)!

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Google Instant Preview – How Does It Affect SEO?”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BabbleCOM, Mithul Mistry. Mithul Mistry said: RT @fluidcreativity: Google Instant Preview – how does it affect SEO? (not much…but enough) […]

Leave a Reply