Google Instant Previews, which gave searchers a sneak peek of a website by hovering over a magnifying glass icon, has been removed due to low usage. Now Google has added a drop-down to view Cached or Similar results, or Share a page on Google+.
Google Instant Previews launched in late 2010 and looked like this:
An update to Instant Previews in 2011 moved the magnifying glass further to the right. At that point, the Cached and Similar links appeared above the actual preview.
There was no Share option, as Google+ had just launched as an invitation only service. The Share link was later added beside the search results.
The new dropdown menu looks like this:
“As we’ve streamlined the results page, we’ve had to remove certain features, such as Instant Previews,” according to a Google spokesperson in the Google Search Forum. “Instant previews saw very low usage by our users, and we’ve decided to focus on streamlining the page to benefit more users.”