Continuous scroll has been part of the mobile search experience since Google introduced it in October 2021. On December 5, 2022, Google officially announced continuous scroll has been added to search on desktop in the United States:
Starting today, we’re bringing continuous scrolling to desktop in English in the U.S. so you can continue to see more search results easily. When you reach the bottom of a search results page, you’ll now be able to see up to six pages of results. pic.twitter.com/xIuVP24FFm
— Google (@Google) December 5, 2022
What Is Continuous Scroll?
Continuous scroll allows users to browse up to six pages of content without the need to click any buttons, an important distinction from the concept of infinite scroll. No more page 2 or page 3 results.
A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land, “When you scroll down you’ll continue to find relevant results so that you can discover new ideas. When you reach the bottom of a search results page, up to six pages of results will be automatically shown until you see a ‘More results’ button if you wish to continue further.”
Continuous scroll is not a new concept. It’s been the norm on Google’s mobile search for over a year now. It only makes sense in the world of infinitely scrolling social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and TikTok that the desktop experience of search mimics what users are used to in their feeds.
How Does Continuous Scroll Impact SEO?
Historically, click-through rates are known to drop off dramatically by the time a user reaches page 2. According to a study conducted by Backlinko, only 0.63% of Google searchers clicked on something from the second page.
Image Source: Backlinko
We can’t be exactly sure how this will change the search landscape just yet. The Blue Corona team anticipates top-ranking positions on Search will always be the goal, there’s potential for this to bode well for sites ranking in “cusp” positions like 11-13.
Without pages to separate results on pages 1-6 anymore, it wouldn’t be surprising to find that users who wouldn’t typically click to page 2 may end up scrolling a bit further than they used to.
There’s No Need To Change Your SEO Strategy
Assuming you’re running a white hat SEO strategy and play within Google’s guidelines, you don’t need to change your SEO strategy.
Aside from reporting on keyword position rather than page, the Blue Corona team doesn’t anticipate a large shift in our overarching SEO strategy for clients as a result of this new change because our approach is always focused on creating quality content that answers searchers’ questions. After all, desktop continuous scroll comes out on top of Google’s December Helpful Content Update.