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Google Ditches Endless Scrolling on SERPs: What It Truly Means?

While Google claims their decision to remove continuous scrolling from SERPs(search engine result pages) is to improve speed, some SEO experts are skeptical. Could there be other motives at play? Let’s dig deeper and see what’s really going on.

Table of contents:

  1. From Endless Scrolling to Pagination
  2. A Shift Towards a Curated Search Experience?
  3. So, What Does This Mean for You?

From Endless Scrolling to Pagination

Endless scroll, popularized by social media, allows users to navigate content endlessly, often resulting in aimless and continuous discovery.

In 2021, Google introduced Continuous Scrolling in mobile search results, displaying up to four pages of web results before prompting users to click a link for more. This change was well-received by site owners and the search marketing community as it increased the visibility of more sites to searchers. Here is a GIF of the continuous scroll in action on a desktop search:

However, Google recently announced a change. They’re ditching continuous scrolling in favor of the classic pagination bar (those numbered pages at the bottom).

This applies to desktop searches first, with mobile following soon. The reason? Google says it will help deliver search results faster by focusing on what you search for instead of automatically loading pages you might not even visit.

Is Speed the Whole Story?

While Google claims faster results are the reason behind this change, some in the search marketing community are raising eyebrows. This skepticism stems from recent revelations – the U.S. Department of Justice released emails hinting at Google prioritizing ads in search results.

A Shift Towards a Curated Search Experience?

Prominent figures like Brett Tabke believe this move could lead to:

  • More clicks on the first page will benefit ads and Google properties.
  • Organic search results are getting pushed down or even to a separate domain.
  • A first page dominated by Ads, Google properties, “Google Overviews” (potentially curated summaries), and a single link to access the second page of organic results.

It’s interesting to note that Google recently launched “AI Overviews,” likely as a response to competition from AI language models like ChatGPT. These AI Overviews summarize key information from top search results and present it alongside the traditional list.

So, What Does This Mean for You?

The impact of this change remains to be seen. However, it highlights the evolving landscape of search. Staying informed about these changes is crucial for anyone who relies on search traffic, whether website owners, marketers, or simply those who want to understand how they find information online.

Stay Ahead of the Curve with 42Works

At 42Works, we help businesses navigate the ever-changing world of SEO and digital marketing. Our team of SEO experts can provide insights and strategies to ensure your website remains visible and adapts to the latest search trends. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help you stay ahead of the curve.

FAQs

1. What was endless scrolling on SERPs?

Endless scrolling, similar to what you see on social media, allowed you to continuously see new search results on Google without clicking “Next.” This displayed up to four pages of results before requiring you to click for more.

2. Why did Google remove endless scrolling?

Google claims the change is for faster search results. By focusing on what you search for, they avoid automatically loading pages you might not visit.

3. What are “AI Overviews” and how do they affect search results?

“AI Overviews” are summaries of key information from top search results, presented alongside the traditional list. They provide a quick snapshot of relevant information, potentially reducing the need to click through multiple pages.

4. How will Google ditching endless scrolling affect search results?

There’s a possibility that organic search results might get pushed down the page or even to a separate domain. The first page could be dominated by ads, Google properties, and “AI Overviews” (summarized results by Google AI).

5. How can I adapt my digital strategy to Google ditching endless scrolling?

Staying informed about changes, focusing on high-quality content, and utilizing tools like GA4 for insights can help you adapt. Working with an SEO expert can also provide tailored strategies to maintain visibility.

6. How can I stay ahead of the curve?

For website owners or businesses concerned about SEO and digital marketing, consider partnering with an agency like 42Works. Our team can provide strategies to help your website adapt to these search trends.

Stay Informed, Stay Ahead

By understanding these changes, you can navigate the evolving search landscape and ensure your online presence remains visible.

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