Google Preview vs PPC
As Owen Hargreaves scored a goal last night, Phil Neville also scored a goal and Bolton won away from home I thought this would be the perfect time for an equally rare (but welcome?!) event, a blog post from me.
As we have all seen over recent months, Google has been making big changes to how it is displaying search results. For example, product feeds are now becoming much more prominent and being integrated into the natural and paid results and a week doesn’t seem to go by without there being one change or another to Google Places listings (they’re still called that right?).
So, it was with little surprise I noticed another change to Google’s search results this morning concerning Google Preview. Now, time to admit, I haven’t been a big user of this feature so this may not be breaking news to all. However, I was surprised to see the little blue magnifying glass seemingly sent the way of Google Wave to be replaced by some very Web 2.0 arrows that show a HUGE preview – as you can see below:
Looks pretty cool, and much more usable than the little thumbnail type pop-up. But what I found really interesting is that once you’ve hovered over the little arrows all of the sidebar PPC ads are covered – not pushed down, covered and more or less disabled.
Drag your mouse down the page as you view results, hit one of these arrows and that’s it for any sidebar ads. Some may argue that this makes being in the top ad box more or less essential and is just a ploy to boost CPC’s at the top end, others may argue it’s another big usability improvement from Google which will save even more micro-seconds for time savaged searchers. Me, I’m sort of in the middle, but I do like how it looks and the three column page it creates is neat.
Be interesting to hear what you think?