This appears to me to offer end users a better search/browse experience, and that's always a win for everybody.
Why would I (as a visitor) need to click the site if I see what I searched for right there, on Google screenshot?
Because that's not how people typically interact with websites. If it was, the World Wide Web would simply be made of small JPEG pic versions of what sites look like. If you have a site with quality content on it, which happens to be ranked high in search results I can pretty much guarantee you are still going to receive your high click-through traffic. You may even receive more. The only people who lose out with this are those with low quality or spam type sites where their traffic is "crap, not what I wanted" hit-the-back-button clicks, which don't provide much value to advertisers anyway.
I don't mind "small JPEG pic versions of what sites look like" - these are fine. I'm strongly against the JPGs of site where you can read text from my site. And with a move of mouse - from next site. All cropped around the subject without any ads or any message attached to article that PAID for this article.
Do you seriously think that "research and shopping" doesn't constitute overwhelming majority of searches?
Do you seriously assume that searching for editorial content is what majority of users do instead of "research and shopping"?
The only thing I'm guarding is MY OWN CONTENT. I wrote it. I own it. I don't want Google to display it in readable form in bigger and bigger chunks every year. I'd opt out of "short snippets" they show now if it was possible - leave the titles - that'd be ENOUGH to reference my content.
Google was built on shoulders of people who produce the content. Now Big G. acts like they own this content and are free to do whatever they please with it to satisfy visitors on THEIR site and earn money from THEIR ads, using MY content.
I do understand it's better experience for visitors, but why would I want to produce the content anymore if Google steals my profit by showing the content directly to users? I want people who benefit from my content to be on MY site, not on Google site.
Yes, I do think so and that supports my point. Those type searches are not usually satisfied by viewing a small screenshot of a site's homepage.
The only thing I'm guarding is MY OWN CONTENT. I wrote it. I own it.
Calm down. I certainly agree content creators own the rights to their content. :)
If this is really a problem I'm sure Google would allow some way for sites to opt out of the preview. However, I'm thinking that Google's priority is to give users the best search experience possible, so sites that don't allow the preview might rank lower in search results. I'd certainly allow it for my sites.
Google was built on shoulders of people who produce the content.
I'd argue there is a symbiotic relationship between content creators and search engines/portals. Without each other neither would likely have many visitors.
I totally agree content creators have the right to say how their content is displayed beyond fair use. However, at the same time Google and other search engines are going to strive to give users the best possible experience, and that probably means helping them avoid spammy/low quality sites by previewing past them.
Yes, it was symbiotic, that's why it was "kind of" fair play until NOW.
Now they're pulling the blanket to their side and it starts to get parasitic.
Frequently, if the information I'm searching for appears in the search result, I don't click through to the source, I'm sure that is the case for many searches.
If this takes off, you can expect to see greatly reduced traffic and ad revenues for certain types of sites(e.g. reference/lookup).
But that's besides the point. My point is that a high quality content site will not have any trouble receiving click-throughs and selling ads -- ads which are probably more effective for the advertiser and relevant for the user as well.