What is Continuous Scrolling, and How Can it Affect SEO?

If you own a business, then you understand the importance of making sure people can find your business efficiently so you can make money. As more and more companies base their businesses online, having a robust online presence is vital to the health and survival of a company. 

The online marketplace is constantly evolving, and it is up to business owners to adapt to these changes and do whatever is possible to get ahead. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is invaluable for website owners and is how to make sure that your web page ranks when users punch in different keywords in their Google searches.

One area of online marketing that website owners continually have to deal with is how Google treats search results regarding SEO, as it constantly changes. Website owners are constantly faced with the challenge of maximizing their websites to get on the first page of Google. This normally requires well-written, informative content that serves to educate users as well as a beautiful and functional approach to offer goods or services for sale. 

If you are looking to rank on Google at all, then loading your website with good content is critical. One recent change that can affect your position on Google and how your business appears in search results is continuous scrolling. This change was announced and implemented by Google in October 2021.

Continuous Scrolling Explained

Search engine as web browser tool to find information tiny person concept. Looking up for data in online website contents vector illustration. Internet site service for info research and visualization

In the past, when you punched a search into Google, you were given a number of results on ‘page 1’ of your device. If you scroll through the page, you would quickly reach the end of the page with a link that takes you to ‘page 2’ of the results. Each successive page of results would be organized and accessed in this way. 

Google has changed how search results appear and combined the first four pages of results into one big page that allows a user to simply scroll up and down to access the information and websites they are looking for. It is important to note that this change is currently only exclusive to searches on mobile devices, but this could likely change in the future if Google sees positive returns.

If you are a user of social media such as Facebook or Instagram, then you are already familiar with continuous scrolling and likely use it every day. When you use Facebook or Instagram, you are never given the option to click a button on the bottom of the scroll to ‘see page 2’ because there is no page 2. You can just scroll as long as your attention span will allow. 

Now, on Facebook and Instagram, this is actually known as infinite scroll because it basically never ends. Google’s continuous scrolling is not infinite but will likely change how information online is found and used. 

How Continuous Scrolling Can Affect Mobile Searches

Since continuous scrolling gives users more of a social media experience with their search results, more users are going to instinctively scroll more to see what their options for information, goods, or services are. Over time, users will likely become more used to this approach and will likely scroll through without even realizing the changes. 

This means that those who are stuck on pages 2-4 of Google now have a renewed chance to stand out as they are now all on ‘page 1,’ albeit still ranked in order of Google preference. More content such as images, videos, and FAQs can now be shown on Google search results without feeling like the pages are being overcrowded as previously when the pages were broken up more. This invites website owners to put more user-friendly information that can appear on search results without clicking on the website itself. 

Almost 65% of Google searches don’t end up with the searcher clicking on any links. Continuous scrolling would likely maintain and increase that number as more information is available to the searcher without the need to click. It is important to attract the users who do click links and get them to your website.

How Information-Rich Can Help You Stand Out

people searching on a mobile device

The more information and media that you can add to your website, the better. Having an information-rich website that stands as an authority in your field or business is critical to achieving a strong position on Google. Make sure that you optimize the titles of your web pages and meta descriptions to get not only Google’s attention but the attention of potential customers. 

Google searchers are looking for answers to questions when they search online, so it is critical that your website answers these questions in an easily digestible and pleasing way. It remains to be seen exactly how continuous scrolling is going to affect SEO and search results in Google, but the best practice is to have the best content and presentation possible.

What Marketers Should Pay Attention To

Marketers should always pay attention to data, as data is always king no matter what is going on in SEO land. It is important to be aware of Google analytics, and using tools such as Google Search Console and schema markup can be invaluable. Schema markup is a code that you add to your website that allows search engines to use more information and data from your site to present to online searchers. If you don’t have quality information and data on your website, then you will likely not appear on search results, and your site will not be optimized. 

You can use several tools to stay current with Google and how their search engine spits out and presents results. It is safe to expect that continuous scrolling is here to stay on mobile devices and will likely be expanded towards desktop interfaces as users get more used to seeing information presented in this fashion. It remains to be seen how much of an impact continuous scrolling has on search results and user behavior. 

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