Anyone in an offering SEO services to clients can soon report they’ve got their clients to the first page of Google. Job done! Well, sort of. Rolling out only in the USA at the moment is the infinite scroll feature from Google. Previously search results stopped and the ‘See more’ prompt at the bottom of the page. Now the next set of search results automatically loads with associated information to your search. So no page, 1, 2, 3, 4 etc…
Google says “While you can often find what you’re looking for in the first few results, sometimes you want to keep looking. In fact, most people who want additional information tend to browse up to four pages of search results.”
The benefit is clear in that you’ll get a wider array of appropriate search results to a question and without that forced stop at the bottom of the page you’re just as likely to keep scrolling until the right result catches your eye. This of course isn’t a new idea and its highly likely that the final prompt to move to this style of search has come from the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. We’re all guilty of spending too much time scrolling and this may well be the other reason Google want to keep you there. More time scrolling means you can spend more time seeing search results and undoubtedly more impressions form paid advertising.
So what’s the real impact for results that weren’t on page 1 of Google?
Difficult to say at present but certainly for those who were just off page 1 of Google previously will see the greatest increase in coverage and in time stats will undoubtedly become available. From an SEO point of view this is brilliant for those who couldn’t quite make it off of page two and as Google’s said, anything up to page four was previously getting consideration.
What about Google Ads positioning?
It looks like ads are now positioned among search results making it less clear what’s advertising and what’s an organic result. Great for advertisers as we’ve already said they’ll likely get their ads seen (impressions) in the search results and also there’s potentially a higher likelihood of a searcher clicking an ad, great for the advertiser and of course highly lucrative for Google.
There’s no official date as yet for when this feature will be rolled out to markets outside of the U.S. but we’ll be keeping an eye out and monitoring the impact with our friends in the U.S.