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Google Webmaster Tools Lets You Troubleshoot Instant Searches

Several months ago, Google launched their Instant Previews, which allowed you to instantly get a preview of the results Google would show when hovering over a website in their search engines results pages. It hasn’t been without problems, however, such as missing images and the like, and the team behind Instant Previews has been working to make it easier for website owners to test their own results.

On that note, the Google Webmaster Central blog has word that you can now preview your own Instant Preview results within Google’s Webmaster Tools. This allows you to diagnose problems that would prevent your website from showing up properly in the Instant Preview window. Common causes of such problems, according to the blog entry, can include:

  • 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

The new Instant Preview tool — which is found in the Labs section of Webmaster Tools — allows webmasters to see what the preview would look like in Chrome and in the Instant Preview renderer. This should give website owners an easy way to diagnose and fix these problems.

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