A few months ago, Google started a push for faster web pages. You can read the details here, but the short of it is that page loading speed has become part of Google’s formula in deciding what web sites and pages “matter” on the Internet.

Search Engine Optimization is one of the things we do at Answer Guy Central. And if I may say so, we’re pretty good at it. In fact, we’ve released a white paper on the subject of Search Engine Optimization that’s getting a lot of buzz.

So I feel qualified to comment on Google’s latest search improvement feature. Released just yesterday, Google Search Preview works hand-in-hand with the Google Instant feature they unleashed in September. Now, when you do a search at Google.com, each of the results have a “page preview” next to them. It looks like this:

Google Preview Results for Depression and Social Networking

Once Google Preview starts working for you, a search for “Depression and Social Networking” will show the same thing. Right next to each result you’ll see a little magnifying glass, and hovering over it will pop up a preview of the page you’ll go to if you click the link.

Which is kind of a cool idea, except really, does it help you to see the page layout of answerguy.com on that #3 search result for depression and social networking before you click over? It might if you could figure out by looking at the image that a page was going to take a long time to load—and maybe decide based on that to stay away—but Google Preview doesn’t help you with that.

OK, big deal. So Google Preview is cute, but does nothing useful. You can just ignore it. Right?

Well, no. Google Preview creates extra browser traffic. Now, each time you load a Google search page result, you’re going to suck down more bandwidth that you were before Google Preview. Google Preview Slows Down The Internet Every Time You Do A Search.

Didn’t Google just tell us to make our web pages faster?

Remember: the rules that apply to you and the rules that apply to Google and other huge companies aren’t the same. If this particular business change drives you nuts and you want to turn Google Preview off, just drop me a line.

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