Google Ends Continuous Scrolling: How Does It Affect The Organic Search Results

2 min read
Google Ends Continuous Scrolling: How Does It Affect The Organic Search Results

Google has decided to end continuous scrolling on its search results page to supposedly deliver faster search results, a move met with skepticism by many in the search marketing community. 

Continuous scrolling was introduced in the mobile search results in the US back in October 2021. Google claimed it would make “browsing search results more seamless and intuitive”. But apparently, they don’t think so anymore. 

Critics argue the true motive is to push more users towards ads and Google’s own properties, essentially making the first page predominantly Google-centric. Although some agree continuous scrolling may suit social media better than search engines, the general consensus believes Google’s explanation lacks credibility.

How does this affect the organic search results? 

Ending continuous scrolling in search results is likely to have several impacts on the visibility of the organic search results.

Increased Focus on Page One

With the return to paginated search results, the competition for appearing on page one will intensify. We are basically going back to the old user experience from before 2021. Websites that do not make it to the first page may see a significant drop in visibility and traffic.

Reduced Exposure for Lower-Ranked Pages

Ending continuous scrolling is likely to affect organic search results visibility by reducing the exposure of websites that would typically appear beyond the first page. 

This could diminish the traffic of websites that rely on organic search results, as users may be less inclined to navigate to page two or beyond.

Potential Shift in Click Distribution

Critics argue that this change will result in a higher percentage of clicks going to ads and Google properties on the first page, effectively pushing organic search results to subsequent pages. 

Since people are less likely to navigate beyond first page, results on page two and beyond may see a drop in organic search clicks. 

Impact on User Experience and Engagement

Opinions about the impact on the user experience are mixed. 

Some industry professionals see continuous scrolling as a poor user experience outside social media platforms. Pagination, on the other hand, may improve user experience by reducing cognitive load and making navigation more structured. 

One thing became clear over the years of having pagination on Google, and that is people simply don’t like to click “Next” to see more results.

Summary

Overall, ending continuous scrolling is likely to concentrate user attention and clicks on the first page of search results, making it more challenging for websites that do not rank highly to gain visibility. This change will necessitate adjustments in SEO strategies to ensure that websites can maintain or improve their search rankings and visibility.

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