Continuous scrolling, an update Google rolled out in October 2021, whereby mobile search results for English-language searches would continuously scroll for users, such like social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The results are effectively infinate and continue from page to page, merging page 1 to all other pages.
Previously, the #1 SERP would be the first ten organic search results, but with the latest rollout, users will be given the opportunity to scroll through at least 4 pages of content before seeing that ‘See more’ button on their mobile devices.
Google’s reasoning for this update was outlined on their blog post in October when it was first announced for U.S. audiences searching in the English language. The blog stated:
“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. With this update, people can now seamlessly do this, browsing through many different results, before needing to click the “See more” button.”
So how does this change impact SEO?
Getting your site indexed on the first page result of Google is the dream for all SEO specialists and experts out there. With the #1 page generating the highest click-through rates (CTR) and delivering the most traffic, it’s always been important to try and index on this page. In comparison to the second page, which has an average CTR of 1%, the first organic results CTR ranges from 28.50% at position 1, all the way down to 2.5% at position 10.
With the new update coming about, it’s likely that this position 10 organic listing (the bottom of page 1) and the position 11 organic listing (the top of page 2), would see CTRs closer in comparison to before, with page 2 playing a more prominent role in user searches, because of it being more accessible to users. Just think, if I can keep scrolling to find what I’m looking for, the listings previously on page 2 and page 3 are more accessible.
So, to ensure you’ve optimised for this upcoming update that will affect international audiences, we recommend you:
- Focus more heavily on ensuring the content you produce is specific to the user’s query.
- Make sure that your meta descriptions and titles are appropriately filled in to reference top performing search queries and keywords.
- Keeping up-to-date with trends in user searches, both through CTR research and keywords trends to see if this change impacts how users search in the future.