Google to Reintroduce Pagination for Desktop Search Results

This article will review the history of infinite scrolling, why Google is changing, what changes are being made to both mobile and desktop, examples of what infinite scrolling is, how this change may impact your business, and how the community feels about the change. 

The History of Infinite Scrolling: 

Google has made numerous changes to mobile search over the years. Among these changes, we witnessed the introduction of infinite scrolling. This feature mirrors the endless scrolling seen on many social media platforms, often referred to as “doomscrolling,” which many users find captivating.

Google initially launched continuous scroll for desktop search in December 2022, following its mobile search debut in October 2021. The continuous scroll feature on desktop has only been available for about a year and a half. 

Official Statement: According to a Google spokesperson, as of June 25, continuous scroll will be discontinued for desktop search results, with mobile search results following soon after. Users will see the return of the traditional “Next” button at the bottom of desktop search pages, while mobile search results will display a “More results” button.

Reason for the Change: Google explained that the decision aims to improve efficiency by only loading search results upon user request. The company found that the automatic loading of additional results did not significantly boost user satisfaction with the search experience. 

So basically, in my interpretation, the infinite scrolling was using too many server resources (costing too much money) and slowing down the user experience. 

Changes to Desktop Search: 

Starting on June 25th, Google will discontinue its continuous scroll feature for desktop search results and reintroduce the classic pagination bar at the footer of search results.

Continuous Scrolling on Desktop Example:

Upcoming Mobile Changes: 

In the coming month, Google will also remove the continuous scroll feature from mobile search results.

Example of Mobile Infinite Scrolling:

Google Pagination Example

How Infinite Scrolling Has Affected Your Website Visibility:

Organic Traffic Data: Pre- and Post-Continuous Scroll Change

To assess the impact of continuous scroll on desktop search results, SEO’s have analyzed data over a 30-day period before and after the implementation of continuous scroll. While seasonality factors were considered, this pre/post approach provides a clearer view of organic ranking trends.

If analyzed on a year-over-year basis, SEO results would likely show significant variations. For this analysis, they excluded branded keyword data, focusing solely on non-branded keywords, as branded data exhibited no noteworthy changes. Notably, 99% of clicks both before and after the change were directed to positions 1-3. Similarly, 97% of impressions for branded terms were concentrated in the top 3 positions.

Key Findings:

  • Importance of the First Page: The first page remains crucial, with the majority of traffic originating from the top 3 positions. Over 50% of impressions and 88% of clicks are captured by these top spots.
  • Impressions and Clicks Distribution: Impressions for rankings 15-20 increased from 20% pre-continuous scroll to 25% post-continuous scroll. This change reflects the updated user experience, where users might not realize they are viewing results beyond the top 10.
  • Impressions Beyond Top 20: Beyond the top 20 positions, impressions remain relatively flat, with positions >30 accounting for only ~10% of total impressions.
  • Clicks Beyond Top 3: Being in the top 3 is even more critical for clicks. Only 4% of total clicks occur after position 6, which is double the percentage before the continuous scroll change (previously, only 2% of clicks came from positions greater than 6).

Conclusion: Despite the slight shift in impressions to deeper results due to continuous scrolling, desktop search traffic remains predominantly driven by the top positions. This analysis underscores the enduring importance of ranking high on the first page, particularly in the top 3 positions. With this feature being removed, we can expect the opposite to happen. Websites on “page 2” (Positions 11-20) that were getting more impressions will no longer receive that additional visibility to their website. 

What Does This Mean for Your Small Business?

Well, if you’re on page 2 of Google, maybe even toward the top, you probably won’t even notice any changes given that only 4% of all clicks happen after position 6 for one of your focus keywords. Will you lose out on an additional click here and there? Yeah absolutely. This is why you should always be striving for those coveted top 3 positions in Google. Unsure of how to make sure youre at the top? Give me a call, I’d love to help you understand how SEO works and the benefits it can have for your small business. 

How the Reddit Community Feels About the Removal of Infinite Scrolling:

The community on Reddit has mixed reactions to Google removing infinite scroll from search results. Some users are disappointed, finding pagination cumbersome and time-consuming, while others appreciate the return to the classic navigation style. A few believe the change was driven by Google’s desire to display more ads. There is also a sentiment that infinite scroll was more suited for mobile devices rather than desktops. Overall, the responses highlight varying preferences and concerns about the effectiveness and user experience of Google’s search functionality.


One of Our Local SEO Success Stories:

Before we dive into the good stuff (Yeah, it gets better), let me tell you about Car Keys To Go, an awesome car key replacement company located all around South Carolina. This local business was struggling to get people to find them online. After our discovery call, I got to work. There was a lot of work to be done but we started with a complete rebuild from the ground up of the website. Their original website was on WIX (Which is known for its issues with SEO and Google crawling them) and they were only receiving about 15 leads each month coming in from their website, with no idea of how those leads were coming in. We rebuilt the website, set up tracking with analytics, and began pushing local SEO to their target locations.

We initiated our SEO campaign with six carefully selected focus keywords for each location. Criteria for selection included overall search volume, keyword difficulty, and alignment with the search intent of those seeking immediate service. The keywords included Car Key Replacement, Key Remote Replacement, Smart Key Replacement, Key Programming, Car Remote Replacement, and Replacement Car Key.

At the outset, their highest-ranked keyword, “Key Remote Replacement,” resided at position 18 on Google’s search results (Page 2). The table below illustrates the initial positions for their focus keywords and the significant progress achieved since then. Feel free to verify their current rankings by searching “Car Key Replacement Rock Hill” or click here for a direct link to their Google standings. Presently, they hold positions 2-3 on Google, a remarkable leap from their initial placements on pages 2 or 3 for most Rock Hill keywords. Every single one of their Rock Hill keywords now resides at the top of the coveted Page 1 on Google.

SEO client spotlight - Car Keys to Go

Now you may ask, did they increase on the amount of form submissions and leads they were receiving? They absolutely did. They are currently averaging anywhere from 60-80 quality leads each month.

Cory Towler

About the Author

About Cory Towler

Hey there! I’m Cory Towler, the founder of Offset Digital, a small but mighty SEO and web design company based right here in North Charleston. As a SEMrush Certified Agency Partner, I’m equipped with the latest tools and expertise to help your business thrive online.

Why Offset Digital? Because Your Success is My Success

I started Offset Digital with a clear mission: to help small businesses like yours thrive online. After years in the industry, I saw too many small businesses get overlooked by big agencies with high price tags and impersonal service. That’s not how I do business.

At Offset Digital, we’re all about building real relationships. I want to be your partner, not just another vendor. I’m passionate about transparent, quality work that fits your budget and delivers real results. When you succeed, I succeed – that’s the philosophy behind our motto: “My Business Only Grows, When Yours Does.

My Background: From Agency Life to Small Business Owner

Thanks to my dual major at Charleston Southern University and my experience as Creative & Art Director at Jeff Cook Real Estate, I’ve got a solid foundation in marketing and design. I’ve also honed my SEO skills at MediaBeast Marketing, working with some of Charleston’s top brands.

However, my real education came from working within the marketing industry for the last 12 years with countless small business owners. I understand your challenges, goals, and need for a partner who truly understands it. That’s why I’m here.

Let’s Grow Together!

Whether you’re looking for SEO expertise, a stunning new website, or just some friendly advice, I’m here to help. Check out our case studies to see the impact we’ve made for other businesses, and reach out anytime to start the conversation.

When I’m not geeking out over SEO, you can find me gaming, backpacking, or enjoying way too many Monster Zeros. Oh, and I’m also married to the most amazing woman on the planet.

Charleston SEO FAQs

Why is keyword optimization important for Charleston websites?

Keyword optimization is important for Charleston websites because it improves visibility on search engines and helps attract more local customers by enhancing the website’s SEO. It makes it easier for people to find your business online.

How can I track the performance of my keywords?

You can track your keywords by using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These tools offer insights into website traffic and keyword rankings, helping you refine your strategies.

What are some effective link-building strategies?

Form partnerships with local businesses, use the Skyscraper technique, connect with journalists through platforms like HARO, and turn unlinked brand mentions into backlinks to build effective links for your website. This can significantly boost your website’s ranking and visibility.

How does mobile optimization impact SEO?

Mobile optimization has a significant impact on SEO by improving user experience on smartphones and tablets, which in turn boosts search engine rankings. It’s essential to have a responsive design and streamlined functionality across different mobile devices to stay competitive in the digital market.

Why is local SEO important for my Charleston business?

Local SEO is important for your Charleston business because it helps attract local customers and improves your website’s visibility in local search results. By optimizing your Google My Business listing, creating localized content, and participating in the local community, you can enhance your local presence and connect with your target audience.

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