Google removed the instant preview feature about a day ago from its search engine. The feature displayed a preview image on mouse over (and a single initial click) of each website listed in the search results to provide you with a first glance of how it looked like.
While you could not use the information to determine if the contents published on the website where what you have been looking for, it sometimes provided you with an indicator of a site's quality.
A basic example is a site that returned a blank page, for instance due to technical errors, or a domain that was recently shut down and displayed a parking page full of advertisement. The instant preview feature informed you about this so that you did not have to open those results anymore.
Update: Preview Peek is no longer available. We suggest you check out Result Preview for Firefox instead which offers the same feature.
While I personally did not find it useful at all, I know that a couple of readers liked it a lot. The Firefox extension Preview Peek for Gooogle aims to bring it back, albeit in slightly different form. The extension displays preview images of search results on the left of each result by default.
The script displays screenshots fine for most websites listed in the search results. Sometimes, only a blank page is displayed which often is the case if the website in question uses redirects. You can switch between webpage and thumbnail mode with a click on the link that is displayed on top of the images the extensions adds to Google Search.
Webpage displays a screenshot of the web page in question, and it appears that it creates those screenshots when the search results load. What this means is that you will notice a slight delay before they are displayed on the page.
Thumbnails on the other hand display thumbnails underneath each result. These thumbnails link to related images that have been found on the domain of the result.
You may also want to check out the settings of the extension as you can make several modifications here. For one, it enables you to display previews of the website in question underneath each result instead of on the left side next to it. You can furthermore change the size of those previews quite easily here if you prefer larger or smaller previews, increase or decrease the number of consecutive loads, or select the default display mode for all search results pages.
While it is not the same as Google's Instant Preview feature, it provides you with the same functionality, especially if you increase the preview size of images in the add-on's settings.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.