Google Adds instant previews to videos in SERPs

In addition to adding instant previews to mobile search, last week Google also added instant previews to videos on the SERP.

By clicking on the magnifying glass next to the video result (either on the default “Everything” results page or on the video search results), searchers can now preview four short clips, as shown in this screen shot:

Google video instant preview

Image from the Official Google Blog

The caveat? At the moment video producers have to opt-in to the previews, so it won’t be available for all videos right away. It’s unclear how you would actually go about doing that (I took a spin through my YouTube account to see if I could figure it out. No luck. If you’ve figured it out, let us know!).

If video producers have the capability to specify which parts of their video get used for the previews, this has some pretty powerful implications. It would almost be like creating a trailer for your full-length movie: you can tell Google to show the parts that are really going to captivate your audience and get them to click through to the full version.

From a searcher’s perspective, this handy little feature lets you determine whether videos are relevant (or good) without pogo sticking between the results page and each individual result.

I couldn’t actually find an example of the previews in action (perhaps it hasn’t been rolled out to searchers on Canadian IPs yet), so if you’ve tried it out, let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!