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Google May Start Serving All Results On One Page: Good for SEO?

Google tests infinite scroll for web search

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Last month we looked at video that Alex Chitu at Google Operating System shared, showing that Google was testing a new design concept for its search results page. In that concept, we saw Google keeping the top search box and navigation bar, as well as the left panel in place while the user scrolls through results.

Should Google make changes to its user interface? Tell us what you think.

In the video, you can see that the results pages still end with the pagination that matches the default Google user experience of today. You still have to click to go to the next page if you wish to see more results. However, we speculated at the time that this could open up the door to infinite scrolling in web search results, as Google Image Search, which already has this feature, has a similar design concept.

Tecno-net that shows another design (via Search Engine Roundtable) Google appears to be testing, with scrolling panes:

Barry Schwartz reported that Google is indeed testing infinite scroll of web results. He shares another video from Waebo showing this:

If Google moves to this kind of user experience, which it very well could, given that it’s already in place on Image Search, it could be good news for sites that rank beyond the first page of search results. Most people probably don’t click through to very many second, third (and beyond) pages when they’re searching. At least not most of the time. They may, however, be more inclined to do a little more scrolling. Granted, they may have to click to show more results (as seen in the video).

As one reader pointed out in the comments, DuckDuckGo already offers infinite scrolling of search results, so you can mess around with that and get a feel for it. It’s a pretty nice user experience in my opinion. They don’t make you click at all though. It’s more like scrolling through your Facebook News Feed or Twitter timeline (both of which are pretty popular activities).

Google is always talking about improving the user experience, and I think this would do just that. Another reason why I believe they may end up going forward with this is the speed factor (also discussed in the comments). Google has been all about speeding things up lately. The most notable examples of this include the launches of Google Instant and Instant Pages, which loads the result Google thinks you’re going to click on before you actually click on it.

That’s not to mention Google’s initiative to make the web faster, its constant emphasis on speed in Chrome, its Page Speed tools and its declaration of speed as a ranking signal.

Infinite scroll seems like a no brainer in terms of simply making the search process faster. Of course, that might also highlight the fact that Google isn’t giving the user what they need in the first result, let alone the first page. We’ll see what happens.

Do you think infinite scroll on search results is a good idea? Let us know in the comments.

Google May Start Serving All Results On One Page: Good for SEO?
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  • http://www.TheOkayNetwork.com/apps/plusonespy Adsense Publisher

    To me this is Google simply trying to make up for their bad relevancy that everybody is complaining about. I’ve switched to Bing for most of my searches unless I want to compare what Bing shows for results versus Google. So far 90% of the searches were better for me on Bing. I’m not talking about just my own sites, but others as well. Google really jumped off a cliff when they released Panda. The next time Google offers a new algorithm, they need to offer it like a link that says “See the same search with the Panda Algorithm”. So when people take a look and never go back to using the Panda version, that would have been a big signal that they got it wrong.

    • http://www.virtuosolegalmarketing.com Brad

      I like the idea. It’s probably good for organic but not sure about paid search results. A good attempt to resolve the issues w/ local results consuming the 1st page.

    • luvitsa

      yes panda seems to have bought back all those wonderfoool link farms/search engine sites, try finding a local hotel, even by name, so its back to click click click, click again .. or just give up!

      or find completely irrelevant sites, that have just extracted info, off other sites, even to the domain name, and insert the text on their own site, then stamp it with a copyright too!

      • http://www.my-blog-review.com Steve

        I think that judging by recent search results using Google, this is long over due. I did a couple of searches a few days ago and couldn’t believe that 2/3rds of the first page was taken up by YouTube videos & FaceBook pages, neither of which had the information I was searching for, which happened to be about setting up a CDN in order to speed up a website.
        There is a link in the sidebar to show videos / images etc therefore I do not see the need to fill the front page of search results with YouTube Vids.

        Personally I think we would have a far better search experience if all videos & social pages such as FaceBook, Stumble, Twitter etc were all placed with images in the sidebar and just keep the main search results page clear of this stuff !

  • http://www.zco.com/video-production.aspx Daniel Wood

    Can’t understand what Google is trying to prove by releasing every day a new update. It’s true that Google search result’s relevancy has fallen down far more than accepted after Panda.

    If Google is going to implement this infinite results thing, it would reduce the competition a bit. As you said,it would be helpful for the sites ranking at top positions on second page.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      I can’t blame them for trying to improve. I think the infinite scroll would be a good thing personally. It wouldn’t affect rankings like Panda.

  • https://thewebsensesolution.com Jon

    Let’s call it the Koala update!

    • http://www.socialmotus.com Madeline

      hahah. Koalas sleep all day and eat gum leaves.

  • http://www.fipe.co.uk custom web design

    On the face of it, something which gives sites not on the 1st page some exposure would be good. Interesting to see if they do go ahead with this or not.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Can’t say for sure, but I expect them to.

  • Syndk8

    This would be excellent for scraping!

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      How so?

  • Pete

    It makes sense that google would add this UI enhancement. I believe it worth mentioning that DuckDuckGo has had an infinite SERP for a while. And Google’s image search has a similar approach (though it does eventually end with a button at the bottom asking if you’d like to show more search results). I suppose the major deciding factor won’t be the consumer experience but how it effects the business side of things. As more interfaces are going to a clickless experience, you’ve got to wonder how that’ll effect PPC. Maybe there’ll be a time in the future when PPH (pay per hover) is introduced :P

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Yeah, I think I like DDG’s approach better than the Google test – where you don’t even have to click at all to show more – like the Twitter/Facebook streams.

  • http://www.housesforsalebuckheadga.com tribalstylemedia

    I for one sometimes like to get lost in page 11 of some odd search rabbit hole.

    On the other hand, when I’m in a rush and need to find something quick, this might just save a few mins.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Google is all about speeding things up (Google Instant and Instant results). This would certainly favor this mentality.

  • http://www.cncsearches.co.uk conveyancing searches

    While i’m not sure displaying ALL 1,000 results is the best thing, the idea of more results per page is a good one.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      They already let you adjust the results per page, when you’re not using Google Instant.

  • http://www.modeltrainhobbyist.com/ Lionel Bachmann

    While I think Google will eventually make their results have an infinite scroll, I don’t think it will do much to increase the number of clicks for a website. A website that was on page 2 or 3 may get a couple of extra clicks with scrolling, but research shows that after the 3rd ranked site, the number of clicks drop dramatically.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      That will likely still be the case, but in the grand scheme of things – there are a whole lot of searches being conducted each day, and even if the number of those clicking on those lower results is low, it could still amount to a lot of clicks.

  • steve

    good idea

  • http://toddjir.com toddjir

    It’s a good thing Google is always trying to improve. They still have the most relevant results in the industry. I’m waiting for the day the top ten becomes the top 30. I think they will continue to test and tweak things to see what brings more revenue. Plus, can you blame them everyone tries to sku their search results daily.

  • http://economicalhost.com web hosting

    The idea is good but will bring much more competition.

  • http://ieday.net Tony

    I think it would be excellent. It would also be good if pages opened in a new tab, or some other form of preview pane.

  • http://www.sasastamenkovic.com/blog Saša Stamenković

    This is just another visual change that will not affect user experience. Users still have problems in finding relevant results. Such problems can be solved by decorating User Interface.

  • http://www.myupscaledaddy.com DaddyOne

    Great idea! A person will surely be more likely to scroll the first 2 or 3 pages than they currently are to click. If you are stuck on page 3 and having trouble getting past spammy sites or sites that just don’t work anyway this will come as a bit of a relief I think.

  • http://www.lannasport.se Länna Sport

    Tip: use &wmode=opaque when embedding youtube-videos – it will put them BEHIND instead of IN FRONT of the rest of the page.

  • http://www.cappadociacavetravel.com cemal yılmaz (@muskara)

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  • http://www.cappadociacavetravel.com cemal yılmaz (@muskara)

    Plan your adventure with Cappadocia Tours, your personal consultant for Turkey. Started in Cappadocia and now expending its service web in all country, and soon getting international, specializing in customized escorted tours.

    Our approach will provide opportunities to meet locals live in their daily routine as well as traditional events. You will be taken to deep Turkey, like Cappadocia, off the beaten trail, to the mountain villages where the life goes in the same pace as thousands of years ago.

    Accommodation is in selected hotels with charm, representing the character of the area you visit. The warmth of your hosts will make a big difference to your look at the region. We arrange historical restored castles or monasteries, Ottoman palaces and cave hotels.

  • http://www.tden.com King Ralph

    The best thing Google could do is go out of business. Perhaps the purchase of motorola mobility will be the wrench in the works that does them in.

  • http://tapchipcworld.blogspot.com phuc

    Good i dea.
    Thanks
    Google Plus SEO

  • http://blog.webpro.in Bharati Ahuja

    I have not seen the infininte scroll feature live on Google as yet but, if this feature goes live then I think it is going to be a quality improvement on the search results page.

    It will be win-win situation for all, the user, the website owner, the search engines and SEOs.

    The User Perspective:

    If the scrolling is fast and easy then then user will surely scroll for more for a wider range of search results before taking a decision.

    Website Owner Perspective:

    The website owner will be less obsessed for getting his website ranked on Page 1 and focus more on quality aspects of the website.

    The SEO Perspective:

    The statement “SEO Is Beyond SERPs” will get its true meaning and SEO discussions will be beyond Page 1 rankings finally. Making the site stand out with a perfect title and description will be the main focus for getting a high CTR for the site.

    The Search Engine Perspective:

    The search results page will get a quality and meaningful update and will add more speed to the search activity. The user will be able to search more in less time. The search results page will become truly mobile friendly.

    Overall it is going to be a smart move by Google if this gets finalized as I do not think there can be any reason why the user will reject such a development on the search page. After Google Instant this infinite scrolling feature will add the instant factor to the whole search process when searched from the desktop, tablet or mobile.

    Hope Google makes the Infinite Sroll Web Results feature go live instantly.

  • http://www.localgoldmine.com Local Goldmine

    It certainly gives new meaning to the guaranteed page 1 results that many local SEO companies like to throw at potential clients. I like the idea in the local results because it will allow searchers to scroll past the Places listings and find more websites.

    Google places dominates page one of most local results and has pushed many websites to page 2 because of a lack of room on page 1. No matter how good your organic SEO is, if Google is showing a full page of local business listings you are screwed.

  • tm

    We hate what they have done to image search it does not work on dialup. Or slow broadband. If they pull the same on search they will turn a lot of people away just like they lost all the google news viewers.

    Those of you on fast broadband have no clue what your visitors are seeing. You need to test it on dialup before you come on here and claim how great it would be.

  • http://freelancewritingnet.com OnlineWritingExpert

    I am not surprised at this development at all and it will have some effect on SEO especially for those that are besotted with 1st page rankings.

  • http://www.absolutewebworks.com/ Absolute Webworks

    I would prefer that Google not go the infinite scrolling route. When searching many people are looking for obscure content. I guess one could hold down the down arrow.

  • http://www.lawyer-advertising-blog.com Phil

    The advantage would be to potentially more easily scroll past the Google Place listings which I often see and don’t want to see. However, I just usually click on the second when there are Google Place listings on the first page. Scrolling down or clicking on the next page won’t make a difference to me. That’s one of those things that some people will like, some people will not like and some people just won’t care. However, it might make the 11th-16th listings more visible to people who may scroll down lower because something caught their attention while they would not have clicked on the next page and therefore redistribute some click throughs to websites which would have been on the top of the second page.

  • http://www.web-media.co.uk Rob Willox | SEO Scotland

    Regardless of whether Google introduces infinite scrolling or not the impetus will still be on being seen as high on page 1 (above the fold) as possible.

    Lionel made the point that although it might increase the incidence of clicks to lower listed results it will not significantly impact on the level of clickthroughs higher ranked results get although it might marginally benefit those results that would have been in the first few results on page 2.

    There is a limit to the amount of scrolling a searcher will do particularly if higher ranked results answer the search query asked!

  • http://www.weballways.com Web AllWays

    Creative ideas should be introduced but net users should comfortable while being on net business should also not suffer in terms of ranking. Let’s wait and watch.

  • http://tshirtscanada.com Brian Hawthorn

    While people will still do the vast majority of click throughs on the top listings, I think this would be beneficial especially if your websites results are currently on the 2nd page. I think people are more apt to scroll down than click the next page link.

  • http://www.onlinesabah.com Adrian Lee

    This might be a good idea, it should deliver a better user experience. I don’t really like clicking all that much. And it should help push adwords. If all the results were available, wouldn’t that be more attractive to advertisers as well? The downside is ad cost might go up.

    In regards to SEO, it will still play a key part for search. Who wants to scroll all the way down the page and search through the results? The website that come out on top will still win.

    • http://www.youtube.com/webstatsart webstatsart

      I think this will be good for Android sales

  • http://www.patantconsult.com/articlesvault Carla Lendor

    I think the pressure to be number 1 will increase.

  • Chas Onek

    While (as some have pointed out) it may be good for a few sites that are on page two, etc. there are a few things that are draw backs.
    1. I am on a limited daily download, so I only go to page 5, and if I have not found what I am looking for, then I quit or change the search words.
    2. I am not able to use ‘Adwords’ and other type of setup, (I have 10 websites and only on provides income), since the amount to use them is out of range, cost wise. I used ‘Adwords’ and some others that my web host provided, and soon the cost was too much, since it seemed like someone just kept on going through Google to get to my website.

    And while I’m at it, I paid some idiot, (or was I the idiot for paying them) a large amount of money to put me on page ONE of google for a set of key words, then I found out that the key words would take you to their web site and that site was no better then my first one that I built, that used font and a small img.

    OK so it might be great, but for some it might not be.

  • Tim

    Just as I predicted. Google search will become just another useless craigslist. Bings search results are at least equal too and more often more relevant than Google. Also it’s a farce that Google claims the majority market share. Maybe so globally but certainly not geographically or locally. Besides, my experience is indicating that Bing has much more quality searchers and isn’t that really the beginning of a quality search engine? Google has taken ownership of the Internet and you all playing their stupid algorithm game is handing it over to them entirely. Many of you I think should get your head out and assist in helping remind Google who their customers are. Like the greedy leading the blind.

    • Athlete

      I wouldn’t put my faith in Bing any more than I’d stay in a burning car hoping the fire will go out before it reaches the gas tank. “Quality searches” is a complete crock, invented by spin doctors trying to make Bing look relevant.

  • http://cheapercosmeticsurgeryabroad.com Tim

    As Adrian says, it probably will provide a better user experience. It’s really not that important what internet marketers think, compared to what users think, and what is good for them is, in the long run, good for internet marketing as an industry.

    Say what you will about Google, and I’m sure some people will, but as a company their willingness to constantly try new stuff, and fail quickly, is impressive. It’s definitely a major factor in their domination, and one that all small business should maybe strive to emulate, rather than gripe about how the goal posts keep getting moved. It is, after all, Google’s goal posts…

  • http://www.brandableplr.com Evelyn

    Interesting. I wonder what they’ll do about the sidebar Adwords ads. Right now they change with each page. They’ll probably come up with some way to make them flash change. I do like the idea of infinite scroll though.

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    I like it! ‘The cream will rise to the top’.
    When I search (multiples each a day) I’m looking for concise results; many of the answers that I’m looking for take multiple searches, each dependent on the answer from the last … and since my time on this Earth is finite it irks me to be jerked around by adolencent ‘black hatters’, ‘windbags’, etc. This will force SEO scores of 100%.
    More over, I would like Google to incorporate a question to each ‘search’, “Was this result helpful? 100%?, 75%?, %50? 25%? No?” (or the like) and based on the feedback assign a rating in relation to the exact search query as inputed by the user (we all don’t use the same words and terms even though we mean the same thing). This would be solely based on user rating. It would also lower my “Google Stress”.

    • http://www.lolme.org lol

      Questioning on every search could be lethal for visitors.
      Imaging you on every search clicking an answer.

      • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

        I meant just the ones chosen in persuing the search. Something that could appear at the bottom of the website page. At first it might take a couple of seconds time but down the road it would be well worth it and save minutes to hours.

  • http://www.lolme.org lol

    Infinite page loop is better in my vision..
    Its easier to scroll then click next page :)

  • Glen Ashman

    AMEN! Long overdue! The page 1/2/3 format is slow and the scroll is easier for people to search, and it makes it easier to find things (which might now be lost on page 2/3).

    My only question: what took them so many years to get this right? A rollout yesterday would be overdue.

  • http://www.amortech.ca Amortech – Calgary Web Design

    Im surprised they are not doing this already. Its very easy to implement virtual paging to load new result from the backend upon scrolling. I don’t even see a need for “View More Results” button as the more results could be loaded automatically once scrolled to a certain position.

    I think this would be great for SEO!

  • http://www.bet-helper.com marius

    I personally think that all the hard work needed for a first page result in google search it will be in vain if there will be just ONE google page, so if anybody will be listed on that page our SEO complience will be in vain.

  • http://hostingwithwordpress.com Michael Wilbraham

    It’s a sound idea in principle, but I don’t think it’s going to change anything around getting ranked in the top 10, as these are usually the ones above the fold. Remember, users are already in the habit of only looking at the top 10 so why would the majority of users continue to scroll…the only reason is if they did not find what they wanted in the first 10 – but then most of them would change their search keywords anyway.

    From a SEO point of view, nothing will change for the webmaster, for the Google user…maybe?

    • http://www.vnwebsolutions.ca Alex – VN Web Group

      I agree with Michael,
      This update will improve usability, but for SEO it will probably remain the same. Top ranking sites will be above the fold and if user don’t see what he or she is looking for, most likely they will change search term.
      I think we should continue developing and optimizing websites according to webmaster guidelines and benefit from it.

  • http://roezer.com/LostBlog Roezer

    How will this affect my bandwith as I have a download limit. I have noticed that my usage is gone somewhat higher since google+ was launched.All this extra loading is not really needed.

    • http://www.norele.com Richard Hance

      I suggest you try norele.mobi for smart phones, w/ limited downloads. Also Norele.com for search results the way you expect. Norele is tiny, but as usage increases, speed will as well.

  • http://gechodesigns.com/ GechoDesigns

    In the video he doesn’t scroll down more than 10 web results… Hardly showing off the “infinite” page. It looks more like a hoax. And everyone who’s used Google images knows it already does that.

  • http://www.askzeev.info AskZeev

    yes,

    the idea of sticky top bar with the search-string exposed – should be visible alltime !

  • FordAbby

    I just paid $22,87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38,76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $71,32 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, Meta Cent. com

  • http://webforu.blogspot.com Technologist

    let’s what Google do to be remained Number 1.

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    “But resist we much, we must and we will much about that be committed.”
    -Al Sharption

  • http://www.go-tips.org/ Grey Olltwit

    Could be very good for those of us who struggle to get on page 1 whatever we do. If this happens to normal search as it already has with image search then it will be about those listings which catch the eye, not necessarily the ones on top.

  • http://udadd.com Tom Alciere

    If you’re looking for all the .GED files, yes. The .GED files are GEDCOM files, special genealogy files readable by any genealogy software, and somebody wanting to compile them would want the entire list.

  • Gordon Edwards

    Steve says:
    I think that judging by recent search results using Google, this is long over due. I did a couple of searches a few days ago and couldn’t believe that 2/3rds of the first page was taken up by YouTube videos & FaceBook pages, neither of which had the information I was searching for…

    AllTheWeb/Fast, AltaVista, Clusty, Vivisimo… I don’t expect Ixquick or DDG to last long. Useful search engines that deliver the goods are quickly absorbed by money machines like Google, and the technology vanishes. It used to be that SEO was done with keywords and focused content, then Google introduced “backlink ranking”, a euphemism for how popular your site was before Google found it. If your site isn’t well referenced already, why do you need Google? You can’t even tell Google your site exists any more, as all search engines have disabled that needed feature.

    DDG already has “infinite scrolling”, and it’s configurable: you can set it to manual. But there’s no way it can place all the results on the screen at once: if you ain’t above the fold, you may lose, whatever technology is used for presentation.

    It seems Google is feeling the pressure, and is desperately searching (!) for gimmicks to stay afloat.

    Gordon.

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