Google seems to be testing a slight tweak in the Google Search UI that shows image previews when your cursor hovers over a link. This new feature is showing up for some users in private browsing mode.
While this new little tweak looks rather normal at a glance, it can provide a little more information on the link or the image without having to leave the search window.
The hover feature can show a larger text preview and in some cases even image previews from an article directly from Google Search when you hover over a link. How much information you can see, like expanded text or images, depends on the article and possibly even the topic, explained 9to5Google.
For example, while searching for ‘Stadia’, 9to5Google only found text previews from Wikipedia and the Stadia Dev Blog. But when they searched for ‘Note 20 review’ pulled up image previews from nearly every site as well as slightly detailed text previews.
While this feature will not prevent people from actually clicking through a website, it does provide more information and context before leaving the search results’ page.
Reports have it that it makes it all look quite cluttered as image results do not disappear after you stopped hovering over the link.
9to5Google said that they were able to see the new UI at work on Chrome’s incognito mode but it disappeared for them when they tried it again. Many Twitter users have also posted about discovering the new UI so it looks like Google is testing it right now.
It is not known if Google is going to roll out this feature publicly yet.