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Saturday, April 22nd, 2006, 6:03 am

Preview Thumbnails in Search Engine Results

Preview in thumbnail
Yahoo search results for “roy” with
thumbnails (previews) added ‘on the fly’

LAST year (July 2005 to be precise), I conceived a hypermedia system/Web browser wherein page previews get put adjacent to incoming/outgoing links. Such previews should serve as somewhat of a screenshot that rids the need to explore deeper. They give the surfer a shallow preview, making arrival at pages more rhetoric or unneeded. The surfer can become selective based on the appearance of the destination page.

Screenshot-type extensions turn out to exist in Opera and even in Mozilla Firefox. In fact, there are several such extensions for Firefox. One of these extensions is BetterSearch, which manipulates search engine results pages directly. Thumbnail zooming is possible too and thumbnails rely on Alexa’s thumbnails database with the caveat that only front pages are displayed, rather than the actual pages delivered to the SERP. In BetterSearch, almost a dozen search engines are supported. One has to remember and constantly bear in mind that a fast connection is required for pragmatic use. It can otherwise become an obstruction — a time-consuming obstacle

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