Google has recently been spotted testing infinite scrolling within their SERPs (search engine results pages). This means that rather than clicking through to the next pages of results, users would instead just scroll down the SERP(!) for a long list of results, similarly to how their image search currently works, or how rival search engine DuckDuckGo functions.
If this was to become a long term feature, it would no doubt have a great impact on both user experience and the visibility of online businesses, so here we examine the changes it could bring.
The implications of infinite scrolling
Infinite scrolling would obviously eliminate the need to click through to subsequent pages of results, which could save users valuable time, although searching might become a little more hard to digest without the familiar and tidy format of ten results per page. As long as pressing the back button would return users to their previous position in the lengthy list of results, it shouldn’t take long to adjust to the new system.
It is yet to be seen how Google would handle their paid ads, which is after all how they earn their revenue. Various workarounds are possible, such as having ads appear to the side of the page after every set of say ten organic results, or even being interspersed with them. No doubt Google will ensure that if this system is adopted, ads will still feature very prominently.
No more page one
Probably the most significant difference this change would bring would be that page one of results would no longer exist as such. Studies have repeatedly shown that the majority of users tend to click through to websites on the first page and many users will look no further. By implementing infinite scroll, businesses that appear on page two or beyond would likely encounter more pageviews and higher click-through rates.
This could have very important consequences for all online businesses, as those sitting currently sitting comfortably on page one will have to up their game – perhaps optimising their meta tags more effectively to ensure they capture the same amount of traffic.
Businesses who have previously suffered by having lower rankings will probably experience an increase in click-through rates, as users will most likely search further than they would have done before, without even realising they are doing so.
A fairer platform
At So Motion we would be in favour of this development should it be rolled out, as for a long time Google’s segmented search results format has directed how users search, albeit perhaps unconsciously. Infinite scrolling would provide a more even playing field and allow businesses who have languished in the lower pages to be able to break through and get a chance to become more visible.
What will happen now to all those shady SEO companies who guarantee to get your business to page one of Google we wonder!
If you would like to know how we at So Motion can help you to gain more search visibility and a higher conversion rate, then please email [email protected] or call us on 01273 921 501.