Google has recently launched an update to its search engine in which they have added a feature we are all familiar with when using Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. It is really quite surprising that Google has not taken advantage of a continuous scroll feature sooner. Rather than getting a page of search results with just 10 search results (plus ads) and then requiring the user to click to the next page of results, Google has now begun producing the equivalent of up to six continuous pages of search results before the user needs to click into a new page of results. So what makes this better for Google search engine users and for businesses who want to be found on Google?
Benefits for Consumers (Searchers)
This Google search update allows people searching for answers, products, restaurants, doctors offices, and whatever else they want to know about from Google’s engine to continuously scroll through up to six pages of results without having to click through to another page. This helps consumers who are looking for something particular or unusual or who want to look further than what has traditionally been found on the first page of Google’s search results, to do so easily and seamlessly.
Even though it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort for us to click into the next page of results, most of us don’t do it, at least not very often. So having a lot more content opportunities for every search to peruse without the added step will open up more content and options for users, probably without us even knowing it. More information and more options will now be easier to access and more likely to be engaged with by users. This is good for the consumer and may very well help us open the doors we were looking for when we originated our searches.
Benefits for Businesses
What is very exciting about this new feature for businesses is that it is no longer absolutely necessary to get on the first page of search results in order to have an online presence in the marketplace. It is absolutely still important to continue any SEO efforts you have pursued, but your results don’t have to be in the top 10 for your area every month in search results to be effective in reaching your audience. Many more people will continue to scroll through their search results for “best restaurant near me” far beyond the top 10 (plus a few paid advertisers at the top) that used to populate the first page of results.
Since even the best SEO services could not guarantee your business made the top 10 each week for your advertising area, unless you paid for ads at the top of the page, this change means that the higher you go the better, but people will be scrolling for information on a lot more results for almost every search. This will likely mean more click-ins for your business, even during months when your SEO results do not place you as high as other months because that is the nature of SEO.
Benefits for Google
Google is not just being magnanimous with this new Google search update. They are going to benefit from this change as well. The continuous scroll addition will keep users on their search engine longer, which raises the chances that we as users will click into one of their paid ads, thus increasing revenue. We know from the continuous scrolling done on social media sites that this is exactly what happens with users. People have a hard time stopping their usage when the next option or opportunity comes without having to click to a new page.
The term for this phenomenon is “reducing friction” so that users on your site do not meet with anything that slows them down or interferes with what they are already doing. By reducing friction to move to the next possibility, Google is extending the time we all will be spending searching for what we want to know, buy, watch, dream about or discover.
There are certainly benefits for everyone in this long awaited change. But, it will be important for consumers to gauge their time usage on Google and not allow themselves to go too deep down the rabbit hole on lots of their searches. For businesses it will be important for them to have an SEO team that knows what the changes will mean for their business and will be watching carefully for changes in their weekly and monthly results.
If you need a great SEO team to help you grow your business, zö SEO would love to hear from you!