The search company won't comment on its testing of a feature that gives searchers a peek at Web content without leaving a results page.
Ask Jeeves is conducting a limited test of a new search preview feature offering searchers a graphical peek at their results, no clicking necessary.
Search result pages reflecting the trial feature were discovered by Andy Beal, VP of search marketing for WebSourced and editor of search-focused blog Search Engine Lowdown.
An Ask Jeeves screen grab posted on Beal's blog reveals a page of search results in which a tiny set of binoculars appears next to each link. Rolling over the binoculars causes an image preview of the linked-to page to appear.
Further searches on Ask Jeeves did not turn up the graphical preview feature, but technology companies commonly test new features on a subset of Web site visitors.
Ask Jeeves representatives declined to comment on any wide rollout of a "look ahead" feature, saying it regularly conducts trials of new product ideas that may or may not be pursued.
"In the normal course of product development, Ask Jeeves tests products with a limited number of users from time to time," said an Ask Jeeves spokesperson. "Andy simply stumbled across one of these tests, but we have no product announcements in this regard at this time."
A graphic preview such as that being tested by Ask Jeeves offers users the benefit of no-click peek at the Web content that lies beyond a search engine's results page. Catching such a glimpse into landing pages could shorten the time it takes searchers to find relevant results, as they wouldn't have to load an entire page's content to assess its relevancy. The method would also decrease surfers' reliance on the back button when they encounter non-relevant content.
New York-based Viewpoint Corporation is offering similar "graphically enhanced search" technology in the form of a toolbar plug-in. It launched in March 2004, and uses search results from Yahoo Canada's Smartdevil has long been pushing graphical previews, which it calls Thumbshots, in Web search results.
What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
Singapore, 3-4 November
Hong Kong, 8-9 December
Hong Kong, 8-9 December
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.