Google Search is perhaps the most-used tool on the web today, and as such the company is always experimenting with new ways to improve it. This week, Google Search is testing a slight UI tweak that shows image previews when you hover over a link.
Showing up now for some users in private browsing modes, this new UI tweak for Search looks normal at first glance, but it can provide a bit more detail without leaving the search window.
The new test can show a larger text preview and, in some cases, image previews from an article directly from Google Search when you hover over the link. Whether expanded text or images are available depends on the article and possibly the topic. When searching for “Stadia,” we could only find text previews from sources such as Wikipedia and the Stadia Dev Blog. However, searching for a “Note 20 Review” showed image previews from nearly every site as well as slightly expanded text previews.
This feature probably won’t prevent people from actually clicking through to a website, but it does provide more context before leaving search results. Admittedly, though, it does look a bit cluttered as image results don’t go away after you’ve stopped hovering over them.
You can see the new UI test in action below.
We were able to trigger the mode in Chrome’s incognito mode earlier today, but in the hours since it has disappeared. Some users on Twitter also discovered the new UI. It’s unclear if this will roll out publicly at any point.
More on Google Search:
- Google A/B testing a dark mode for Search on desktop browsers
- Year in Search 2020 recaps turbulent times that had everyone asking ‘why’ [Video]
- Google Search A/B testing prominent toggle to ‘open results in new tab’
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