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News Update: Troubleshooting Instant Previews in Google Webmaster Tools

May 20th, 2011 | | News Update

Google has been making many additions to the features linked with their release of Instant Previews back in November and they made another such addition this week: an Instant Preview tool in Webmaster Tools.

Although only currently available for English language-based Webmaster Tools users, this feature is an answer to ongoing grumbles that webmasters cannot optimize their page for the Instant Preview option now available in search and advertising.

The tool is located in the Labs section of Google Webmaster Tools and has been received with a few concerns from webmasters. The most prominent concern is the ‘errors’ function of the new tool. As an example, let’s take a look at SEOboy.com in the Instant Preview Tool:

At the bottom of the screenshot it says “52 errors fetching resources.” Now, while the background and a few images found on SEOboy.com do not render, the bulk of the content is still visible for the Instant Preview. Upon opening those 52 errors, I found that hovering over the links pulled the problem items right up, however they are referred to as “Fetching Errors” in the report. The page seems to have been fetched just fine, so what does that mean? Some have also noticed and reported running the Instant Preview comparison multiple times and getting a different result with each run, despite making no changes to their website between runs.

As with many new features being rolled-out in a testing phase, there do seem to be a few glitches in the system but I’m sure Google will be watching and listening and making optimizations as they see necessary before full release.

Now it’s your turn! Go take a shot at using the Instant Preview tool in Webmaster Tools and tell us what you find! Did your page show fetching errors? Did the Instant Preview change each time you ran a comparison? Leave your thoughts and findings below in the comments section to let the staff at SEO Boy and our readers know how this tool works!

For further information about this topic, check out the following links:

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more news updates from SEO Boy!

Kayla is an Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.

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