Google highlights the snippet in orange on the instant preview

In this example, Google is smart enough to bold the headline but the subheading–which doesn’t even show in the traditional snippet on the left–is treated as text. Since it doesn’t have a period, readability suffers.

In this case you need to consider altering subheadings if they negatively impact your SERP. You can remove them or add punctuation.

The new snippet in the preview includes the subheading which is not shown in the non preview snippet

Instant Preview Snippets need optimizing

You must check how your snippets look on instant previews for important keywords. In the same way that you optimize your snippets in the SERPS to improve SEO results you must now optimize instant preview snippets.

Instant Preview and Flash

Flash elements don’t preview. If you have two versions of your website it is now even more important that you have the search engine bots go to the non flash version.

Flash websites need to provide an alternative page for the Google bot

Bing’s version of Instant Previews

Bing has had a version of Instant Previews for a long time. There is no preview of the page but there is a much bigger snippet. Popular links are also shown in many instances.

Although it is not as descriptive as a visual snapshot it seems to work a lot faster. Don’t be surprised if they try and develop a better preview than Google.

In the meantime they are integrating with Facebook which is why you see a photo of me in the upper right corner.

Bing’s “More on this page” feature shows more text than Google’s Instant Previews

Optimizing Instant Previews in the Search Engines

In order to maximize visitors to your website you must now optimize