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September 13, 2007

Surprising Thumbnails in Google Search Results

Google crawls the web to find new or updated web pages, but these pages can be grouped in different categories. For example, some web pages include videos. If Google decides that a site contains a lot of videos, it might add it to Google Video and show thumbnails next to the snippet.

The query Amir Blumenfeld shows thumbnails next to a blog that occasionally posts videos and next to a "tumbleblog" that mostly consists of videos (the first and the seventh result from the screenshot below). The videos are hosted by other web sites (in this case, Vimeo) and the thumbnails are only included for homepages.

Google added thumbnails next to video search results as part of the Universal Search program that blends heterogeneous results from different specialized search engines. While the thumbnails sometimes help to describe a video, they also attract your attention as they're one of the few non-textual parts of the page.

It will be interesting to see if Google will eventually show different snippet formats depending on the type of a site (for example, Google could show the author of a blog, the date of a research paper, thumbnails from a photo album or the price and other information about a product).

{ via Googlified }


  1. Hmm... I'm using Firefox extension Google Preview.
    It does the same. Maybe Google should acquire the company? ;-)

  2. I have seen this a while ago. A search for indiancookerypodcast or indian food video

  3. Yes, you saw them next to results from Google Video, YouTube, Metacafe etc. But this time, the thumbnails are placed next to regular web sites that happen to embed videos.

  4. I have Google Preview too. It's so much fun to be ahead of the crowd. LOL

  5. Yes, Google Preview works pretty good. You are a step ahead.

  6. Damn! What a waste of screen space and insult to the eyes. Any way to turn it off?

  7. I know that there is a addon for firefox that can show thumbnails of pages. Those thumbnails are put by the webmasters of the site. The name of plugin was something like GooglePreview.


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