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Google to end continuous scrolling in search results

Media reports suggest that Google’s decision to remove continuous scrolling aims to serve search results faster, starting with desktop search results and later extending to mobile

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Google to end continuous scrolling in search results
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New Delhi: Google announced it is ending continuous scrolling in search results (SERPs) to speed up the delivery of search results. This move has raised skepticism within the search marketing community.

Infinite scroll, popularised by social media, allows users to continuously navigate through content. 

In 2021, Google adopted Continuous Scrolling for mobile search results, displaying up to four pages of results before requiring a click to see more. This change was initially welcomed for potentially exposing more sites to users.

Media reports suggest that Google’s decision to remove continuous scrolling aims to serve search results faster, starting with desktop search results and later extending to mobile. 

On desktop, Google's classic pagination bar will return, allowing users to jump to specific pages or click “Next” to see more results. On mobile, a “More results” button will appear at the bottom of the search page.

Despite Google's claims, many in the search marketing community remain skeptical. Emails released by the U.S. Department of Justice indicate Google's top management discussed ways to display more ads in search results. 

Brett Tabke, founder of Pubcon search marketing conference, believes this change will concentrate more clicks on page one, benefitting ads and Google properties while pushing organic search results to page two and beyond.

Page one will now feature:

  1. Google Ads
  2. Google property links
  3. Google Overviews
  4. A link to page two

Skepticism is widespread, with many people posting doubts on X (formerly Twitter). One tweet suggested the change might be to boost ad clicks at the bottom of the page, while another noted the reduction of links to independent websites.

However, some see the move differently. Kevin Indig argues that continuous scrolling is beneficial for social media but not for other types of websites. He believes infinite scrolling offers a poor user experience outside social media, especially for e-commerce, informational sites, and search results. Google maintains that continuous scrolling was a poor fit for search results.

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