Instant Previews help users better understand if a particular result was relevant for a their search query. However, some users are reporting problems related to how pages are rendered for Instant Previews. Google says that most the issues with preview images, are frequently due to:
- Blocked resources due to a robots.txt entry
- Cloaking: Erroneous content being served to the Googlebot user-agent
- Poor alternative content when Flash is unavailable
To help webmasters diagnose these problems, Google launched a new “Instant Preview tool” in the Labs section of Webmaster Tools.
“Here, you can input the URL of any page on your site. We’ll then fetch the page from your site and try to render it both as it would display in Chrome and through our Instant Preview renderer. Please keep in mind that both of these renders are done using a recent build of Webkit which doesn’t include plugins such as Flash or Silverlight, so it’s important to consider the value of providing alternative content for these situations. Alternative content can be helpful to search engines, and visitors to your site without the plugin would benefit as well.
Below the renders, you’ll also see automated feedback on problems our system can detect such as missing or roboted resources,” Google explained.
If you’ve any questions or feedback, send those to the Webmaster Forum.
[Source: Google Webmaster Central blog]