Instant Preview for Ads – Some Thoughts

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Google Instant Preview for Ads

It has been two weeks since Google announced it would expand Instant Preview, initially launched in November 2010 for organic search listings, to paid search ads as well.  Just doing a quick search for Instant Preview for Ads generated over 3,600 results (now plus one!)  For the unaware, IPfA presents a magnifying glass icon adjacent to the headline of a paid search ad, and upon click and subsequent mouse-over, gives users the opportunity to preview an ad’s landing page.  Searchers are able to quickly review the content of the potential landing page to see if it is relevant to their search prior to clicking.

Google asserts, and I would have to agree in theory, that this tactic will send even more qualified traffic to customer sites since users have the ability to pre-screen the result.  However, is it a stretch to assume the average searcher may not be aware of this icon’s utility?

While results, reviews and opinions continue to accumulate, some initial feedback seems focused on the SEO quality of the pending landing page.  Is there enough informative text on the displayed landing page?  Like a supermarket product label, is the displayed landing page eye-catching enough?

This new feature is a good one in many ways.  Among other reasons, it continues to push the “relevancy” proposition that Google espouses.  Advertisers must continue to make their destination pages more relevant, now not just because of the punishment of a wilting quality score, but because of a user’s ability to choose relevancy before clicking.  That being said, it would be interesting to see the relationship between icon “previews” and actual clicks.  Could that be a new metric?

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