STORY22

Google Continuous Scrolling – the function we never knew we needed

The first page of a Google search (or any other search engine for that matter) is a sought-after spot on the internet with the majority of people not venturing any further than that.  71% of search traffic click throughs result from the first page of Google, with the second page coming in with a measly less than 6%. If you’re languishing on page 3 or onwards the likelihood is that you’re missing out on traffic, and as a result, revenue.

But for so many smaller businesses, getting onto Google’s first page can feel like a mammoth task.

It is estimated that there are 5.6 billion searches on Google every day. That’s approximately 63,000 search queries every second, with roughly 69% of these being made from a mobile device. But most of these users never get to the second page of results. (There’s a reason people in the world of search engine optimisation (SEO) make the joke that the best place to hide a body is on the second page of Google…)

But what if there was no first, second, third, fourth page? Just an infinite stream of results that are refreshed automatically as you scroll? 

Google Continuous Scrolling for Mobile

Google has announced that the Google Search on Mobile is being updated with continuous scrolling meaning that users will have their results automatically populated as they keep scrolling. In a statement Google said:

“At Google, we’re always exploring new ways to help people find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Earlier this year, we launched a redesign of the Search results page on mobile for a more modern experience that’s easier to scan and navigate.

Today, we’re making browsing search results more seamless and intuitive with the introduction of continuous scrolling on mobile devices.”

What is continuous scrolling?

Continuous scrolling is something that the big front-runners of the social media world have utilised for some time. The likes of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tik Tok all use continuous scrolling for their users. It’s one of the reasons their platforms are so addictive. There’s never an end point to the scrolling, with new content you’ve not seen before being filtered directly to your feed without ever having to click a ‘see more’ or ‘continue’ button.

So would users be more inclined to scroll through more Google search results with continuous scrolling? If the social media effect is anything to go by, then yes, we think so.

What does this mean for your business?

This is good news for smaller businesses or newer companies who may be struggling to contend with bigger more established businesses in the rankings – or those with deep pockets when it comes to an SEO budget. If your business or website isn’t currently showing up in the top 3 positions the introduction of continuous scrolling could see an increase in organic traffic to your site, as the user is able to easily consider a much wider range of results to answer their query.  The click-through rate (CTR) is also likely to be more equalised as users aren’t automatically inclined to click on the first 3 results on Google’s first page.

Google Ads and Continuous Scrolling

Google Ads will still be present (Google will not want to hurt their ad revenue), so these will still be visible as people scroll, but if you’re able to give your customer an amazing user journey, paid advertising from other businesses needn’t destroy your chances to make the most of this new feature.  By having a clear message that gets to the root of your customer’s problem you’ll be able to stand out from the paid ads that may be trumping your top spot but lacking in a genuine connection with your customer.

When can I expect to see this?

If you’re across the pond in the U.S this new feature will be available to you. While this hasn’t been rolled out to the U.K and other countries yet, the continuous scrolling feature is so valuable that we don’t imagine it will be long before we see this on our mobile devices too. In fact,  we think this change will be so widely welcomed that Google will likely see a high demand for it to be introduced on desktop too.

Changes in the way Google lets people search are always exciting times for businesses as the possibility of more visibility, more traffic and hence more revenue are presented to us. We think this will be a great update for those who aren’t consistently showing on the first page or in the top 3 Google search positions, so let’s watch this space!

Need help with your marketing? If you’re struggling with getting traffic to your site, get in touch to see how we can help you improve your visibility.