Google’s Instant Preview Gone

Have you noticed something a little different about Google lately? Something is missing. . .

Google changed the way users access the cached, similar and share links in search results. Now, you see a little green down arrow next to the search description’s URL. But where are the instant previews?

google CM results

If you remember, Google launched instant previews on November 9th of 2010. They even boasted that the launch would result in users being “5% more likely to be satisfied with the results they click.” Sounds awesome. So why dispose of it?

Apparently, it was more under-utilized than anticipated. Google’s Jessica gave a straight, honest answer in one of the Google Search Forums last week:

As we’ve streamlined the results page, we’ve had to remove certain features, such as Instant Previews.


Instant previews saw very low usage by our users, and we’ve decided to focus on streamlining the page to benefit more users.

Part of that “streamlining” process has including adding the “share” button to integrate more completely with Google+.

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Sydney Banks

Sydney Banks is one of the Social Media Coordinators at Customer Magnetism. She spends her days in the office strategizing social media content, managing ad campaigns, and generating reports. Away from work, she stays busy entertaining an active Golden Retriever and being a wife and mom. She is only slightly obsessed with Minions and it’s not unusual to see minion paraphernalia close by at all times.
  • Anonymous

    Really annoyed that this feature has gone, really annoyed, thanks a lot google for being more concerned with the majority of what people want rather than finding a way to please everyone and appreciate the people who really appreciate google preview but are in the minority.
    What’s wrong with adding a setting that enables google users to choose what they want, hell you do that with google instant, so why not with the preview? Google owners are selfish and inconsiderate.
    Google preview had so many benefits; it allowed you to see what type of site a website was as you can get a really good impression from being able to see the preview, rather than waste a LOT of your time having to click through a tonne of pages and click back until you find a website you like for what ever reason, it literally takes 20 times as long.
    Google preview was really helpful when you couldn’t remember a site you were on in terms of the web address but you knew what it looked like, with google preview you could quickly scroll through a tonne of websites in the space of a couple of seconds……now you can’t do that! The last major benefit from google preview was that you could get an idea of the tone of a site, since the preview is pritty magnified, enough so to see the type of context a site has so you can get an idea of if it’s the kind of website you are looking to visit and also get an idea of how safe it is.
    Google wont listen, they never do, but seriously why no just enable a setting for people to choose instead of being so obsessed with what the majority of your people want when everyone could be happy.
    Seriously google I’m going to be mainly searching through other search engines now, preview was the main draw for me despite you selling on data. Not that it matters to google of course but seriosuly don’t see why they can’t just do what was suggested above.
    Sorry for my rant but I use the internet a lot and preview was an extremely beneficial feature for me to say the least. 😀

    • Sydney

      We love rants! Feel free to share your thoughts anytime. We can definitely understand the frustration. The Internet sure likes to keep us on our toes with constant changes.

  • Emilene

    I am so frustrated with the recent change! Is there ANY way of getting the Instant Preview back? It makes things so difficult now! Is there another way to preview sites????? Or a different search engine that I can use?? Instant preview made searches so much faster! Can we not escalate this to Google to consider bringing back the preview????