Google has just upgraded the Branded Onebox display to allow the user to more easily view either a (very large) thumbnail preview of site or a map. The result defaults to the Map but there is an obvious arrow to guide the user to the preview mode. The preview is significantly larger than the standard preview taking up all of the room of the Map ad then some.
One will now need to go back to the Senators hearing testimony from Google and inform them that Google is now showing the Map less often. Perhaps this is the voluntary remedy that they had in mind. Take that Yelp!
This change though doesn’t just affect results that shows Maps. It enlarges the preview for any and all results.
Click to view as animated gif:
Today is a new day and brings an apparently new display to the Branded Onebox display in the main search results. As Daniel Sheehan noted several weeks ago in the post about the change away from photos in the display, “When it comes to Google Places it seems that there is no normal. There are just short lived tests and longer tests.”
Slightly after midday yesterday (when the second screen shot was taken) Google changed the branded Onebox display to now include the image from the Places page and placing the map to the far right. Here is a screen shot from this morning and yesterday afternoon:
I just upgraded to Firefox 4 and was offered the opportunity to try Awesome Screenshot. It solves several problems that I frequently deal with when writing this blog and communicating with clients – capturing a full screen of a Google search result (or any web page for that matter) and easily annotating it (see sample of output to the right – click for larger size).
This Firefox plugin (also available for Chrome and Safari 5) does just that as well as providing quick upload to a public URL for online storage of the image and the opportunity to easily share the image via Twitter, Facebook, Buzz and email clients. It passed the “Mike Test” with flying colors. The “Mike Test” is the ability for me to try, learn and use a piece of software productively in 10 minutes or less.
Here are some sample screen shots of the process using Awesome Screenshot:
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