Google Instant Previews

Have you seen Google's new "instant preview" feature? It is a nifty, new feature that Google added to all search results where, by clicking on a small magnifying glass (to the right of each search result), a user will be shown website screenshots of the page found in the search. This may help web surfers more easily decide if a result is what they want before they click off to the site. This has been one of the highly touted benefits of ShrinkTheWeb's service over the past few years. Now, Google* has incorporated website screenshots in a creative way to help keep themselves one step ahead of competitors. It seems to be working. According to recent surveys, people using "Instant Previews" are 5% more likely to be satisfied with their search results, in speed and accuracy. In the lucrative search engine wars, even a 5% margin can make all the difference.

Check it out in action below!

example of google instant previews

Looking for an automated way to add google-like "Instant Previews" to your website or application?
ShrinkTheWeb is your answer.

Taking screenshots, especially of inside "deep" pages, is a monumental task to maintain and scale. It is also costly to house the servers, massive database, and hire personnel to keep it all running smoothly while keeping up with demand. This is where ShrinkTheWeb has shined for the past few years. Our service has empowered numerous large scale companies with a quick-to-market solution at a reasonable and affordable price point. Additionally, our pricing scales well enough to allow even small startups or individuals to deploy solutions using our basic service, typically at little to NO cost at all.


Does ShrinkTheWeb provide "Instant Previews" just like Google?

No. Our service is a basic framework for automating the capture and delivery of website screenshots. Beyond the basic image, what your application does with that screenshot is left up to you and your development team.

What does ShrinkTheWeb provide specifically?

Our basic service allows for API access to request and download website screenshots automatically, even at high volumes. We also provide several PRO features that allow for advanced customizations, such as custom sizes (including full-length)**, specific pages**, refresh on-demand**, custom quality**, private label**, custom browser resolution**, and flash delay***

The implementation via our API and using the PRO features is a task that we leave to more creative types, like yourself!

Who can benefit from using website screenshots?

Any of the following may need our services: Those who may not need our services:
  • Entrpreneurs
  • Startups
  • Search Engines
  • Directory Owners
  • Social Sharing Sites
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Innovative Corporations
  • Webmasters
  • Ad / Media Agencies
  • Web Designers
  • Active Bloggers (who reference websites)
  • Hobby sites
  • Personal sites (except for cool factor, maybe)
  • Retail Stores
  • Product / Service-based sites
  • Corporate Homepages
  • Informational sites (not Internet-related)

We invite you to take a look around and join for free.

There is no obligation to buy and you can delete your account at any time.

Join Today

If you think you might be able to benefit from using website thumbnails, then you have a few options:

  1. Use the services of a Website Screenshot Provider*
  2. Purchase a standalone software (inexpensive to start but manual processes involved and must host your own servers)
  3. Build your own website screenshot system (error-prone, long development cycle, large on-going investment, support)

*There are no services (other than ShrinkTheWeb) that currently provide the ability to download the screenshot to be stored on your server


*Learn more about Google Instant Previews (opens in new window)

**similar to what is used by Google Instant Previews


***As of 11/09/2010, Google Instant Previews do not capture flash (but ShrinkTheWeb does) and this allows a custom time delay on capturing pages with flash content.


*Factoid: One of Yahoo!'s search subsidiaries and have both shown website screenshots alongside search results in the past.

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