Google’s continuous scroll for desktop search is officially here. Now users in the US won’t see the page numbers at the end of the search anymore.
In a few years, young people will ask us with sheer bewilderment if Google search was once divided into pages or did someone make that up. We’ll sigh and say yes once there were page numbers in Google search, and no one ever ventured down to page three. Soon, the page numbers in Google search will be forgotten, like the floppy disks and the pagers, only to be remembered in mildly techy conversations among Gen Z about obsolete technologies and their features. From here on, we’ll keep scrolling Google search results until we see ‘Load More’.
The new update: Google’s continuous scroll on desktop
Google first rolled out the continuous scroll to mobile in October 2021.
With the new update, you can now scroll past the first page of Google (that once held a prestigious place). While the first ten web pages (or first page results) will still matter, web pages on the second and third pages will no longer stay obscure. It will help both the users and the business or website owners. Users can now access more relevant information related to their search queries, while business and webpage owners have the chance at greater visibility.
Before you get all excited, it is important to remember that continuous scrolling is not infinite scrolling. The continuous scrolling would take you as far as four pages, after which you’ll encounter the See More button.
What does Google’s continuous scroll mean for businesses?
Since Google search will no longer show page numbers, web pages will be discovered easily. But does this mean it will affect SEO and rankings? Not directly. It will not impact any metrics that are detrimental to defining a rank of a web page. So, if your SEO game is strong, your web page will rank at the top of the search results. But this does not mean continuous scrolling will not affect your overall website performance.
More exposure means more competition. If some other web page has a gripping headline, it’ll get more clicks regardless of the rank because Google’s first page now spans across the first six pages. Users will scroll past content to get to the bottom, and there’s a high chance they’ll click ‘See More,’ which only means even more competition.
So, websites with authority and user trust will withstand the competition. For example, users will still prefer clicking on The New York Times to get the latest scoop on recent news, even if it ranks lower than other news websites. Therefore, the focus should be on the content rather than the SEO metrics so you can build user trust and a brand name. Once you have the trust of your audience, you won’t have to worry about how algorithms push content or how new updates may increase competition.