Google Introduces Infinite Scrolling On Mobile Search Engine Results

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Google’s mobile search engine results have begun rolling out a continuous scroll feature and that will have implications for Google Ads campaigns.

Google will no longer show users the ‘more results’ button when they reach the bottom of the page. Instead, the next page of website links will load automatically. The rollout is currently being tested in the USA.

Grofuse Digital Director, Denis Finnegan, says advertisers will be best advised to review their advertising tactics in light of the new move.

“The new feature is set to benefit Google if users scroll through more search results, therefore being exposed to more ads. This is a critical change to campaign metrics and it’s important to pay close attention in order to appropriately adapt advertising campaigns for success.”

Google Infinite Search

What Is Infinite Scrolling?

Infinite scrolling allows users to keep scrolling a page without reaching its end. An endless scroll set-up loads contents continuously as the user scrolls down the page, providing a seemingly never-ending amount of material and eliminating the need to click on the next page – making the search seamless and less stressful.

Users will likely be familiar with the infinite scroll experience from social media, as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter all implement infinite scrolling on their social media feeds.

Google stated in a press release announcing the decision: “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.

The search engine giant has not provided an estimate for the full rollout of infinite scroll yet, or for when the feature might be offered worldwide – it is currently only being tested in America.

How Will This Affect Advertisers?

The update will have a number of impacts on advertisers, including:

  • Approximately 75% of people do not search past the first page or first ten results. The update may encourage users to scroll through more results.
  • Infinite scrolling will benefit Google if users scroll through more search results and are therefore exposed to more ads.

The design change reorientates the positioning of advertising within search results. Rather than ads at the top and bottom of each page, the ads are placed throughout the stream of search results. This could benefit advertisers by making it more difficult for users to distinguish paid and organic search results.

  • It is yet to be determined how this might impact click-through rates (CTR) and traffic from Google search. Advertisers could potentially see more mobile impressions and a lower CTR on searches and local ads.
  • Search campaigns may see more impressions from top ads and fewer impressions from bottom ads.

How Can Advertisers Prepare Use This Feature To Their Advantage?

Mr Finnegan continued: “Although the change is currently only for American queries, it is expected to roll out to additional countries in 2022, and advertisers should take action to prepare for this update.

“This is a critical change to campaign metrics. Our team recommends reviewing your advertising goals while monitoring your campaigns and continuing to optimise them based on your business objectives.

“To review your performance based on where your text ads show on the search results page, consider segmenting your performance data by top versus other. This helps you optimise ads by placing them on parts of the pages that perform best for you. Following this, review your prominence metrics – such as click-through rates or moving to a higher position.”

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