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Troubleshooting Instant Previews in Webmaster Tools

Webmaster level: All

In November, we launched Instant Previews to help users better understand if a particular result was relevant for a their search query. Since launch, our Instant Previews team has been keeping an eye on common complaints and problems related to how pages are rendered for Instant Previews.

When we see issues with preview images, they 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, we have a new Instant Preview tool in the Labs section of Webmaster Tools (in English only for now).

Here, you can input the URL of any page on your site. We will 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 does not 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. And, in the future, we plan to add more informative and timely feedback to help improve your Instant Previews!

Please direct your questions and feedback to the Webmaster Forum.


Google Webmaster Central Blog

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Blue Square Management are a web design and SEO Digital Marketing Agency based in Orpington and Bromley on the borders of South East London and Kent. We help businesses get more leads, increase sales and grow their businesses. Basically, Blue Square Management helps you get more phone calls and sell more products!We do by improving your search engine rankings and getting your found when people are looking for your products or services. We do this through online marketing, which includes SEO (Search Engine Optimisations), Local SEO, Web Design, PPC Management services, Online Reputation Management, Video Production Services, online Video Marketing and Social Media Marketing.Need help with your online marketing? Want more customers? Sell more products? Contact London & Kent's lead online digital marketing company, Blue Square Management to find out how we can help your business.