Everything is about mobile these days, as worldwide PC sales have reached their lowest number since 1994. And who else to make the most of this change in people’s preferences than Google? In fact, we can “blame” the company for making the world so dependent on mobile devices, thanks to the omnipresent Android operating system.
And even if Google is looking to bring truly revolutionary products on the market such as the Google Glass or the self-driving car, they still don’t forget about the core and most profitable part of their business – the search. The Mountain View based company wants to make mobile search even faster and more efficient by testing two new features in their labs: quick view cards and sub-site links.
Quick View cards and Sub-sitelinks being tested by Google
The Quick View feature is currently being tested only on mobile devices and for only two websites: Rotten Tomatoes and Wikipedia. Basically, what it does is to “resume” the content on a specific Wikipedia page and fetch it to you through a card real fast (less than 100 milliseconds). If you are a webmaster and you want your website to be included in this experimental project, you can do so by filling out the form here.
You can try out this feature on your mobile device (make sure you access google.com in English and not your regional version); you will see a small blue quick view button that will let you preview a particular page.
Google is also testing sub-site links that are supposed to make content easier to find without having to go to the website itself. Hiroshi Mizuno and Alex Fischer, Software Engineers responsible for this project:
If you want to check out Rotten Tomatoes for a new movie to go see with your friends, you might not want to navigate through the Rotten Tomatoes homepage to find the list of top movies while your friends are anxiously waiting. Now, there’s a faster way to get to the Rotten Tomatoes page with just the info you need most — just look for a new quick link for “In Theaters” underneath the main Rotten Tomatoes link when you search on your mobile phone. You’ll see these expandable sitelinks appear for many sites to help you get to a specific section quickly.
To a certain extent, if these changes will stay, they’ll make users spend less time on the websites themselves and more on the search engine. To many out there, it makes sense, since Google is the center of their online activities. Why open an entire webpage when you can glimpse at the content through a Quick View card and get the information you were looking for. Or why browse through a cooking website to find that recipe section when you can access it straight from your search engine?
However, there’s a downside of the sub-sitelinks feature: by taking up a lot of space in the search engine result page, it will obviously push down other SERPs, thus reducing or nullifying the visits those websites once had.