Google is starting to test out a new feature – “infinite scroll”. Already implemented in its Images search section, infinite scroll would allow readers to click to view more results on the same page instead of continuing through pages 2, 3, or 4 when performing a search engine query. In essence, this feature would allow everyone to rank for “page 1” on the Google search results.
What sort of impact this will have on your company’s SEO?
For starters, there will now be multiple chances to “rank number one” as people click to show more results, making rankings 11, 21, 31, etc. also important. Beyond this, the first few results on each “new page” as more results are shown would also receive increased importance, as eye tracking studies show users tend to focus more directly on the first few listings, and then focus fades as they continue to scroll down the screen. This will also give websites more opportunities when it comes to local search
, as there are more opportunities for local businesses to rank number one as well.
Universal search and rich snippets will also be useful in drawing the eye to your page. Universal search blends various kinds of content in the search engine results, including videos, images, news, blog posts, shopping, etc. These different types of content often include image thumbnails to represent the video, news, or products on the page. Rich snippets include markup codes that can enhance your search engine listing, including ratings, reviews, events, and other items.
The addition of infinite scroll could also bring about changes in paid ads.
As infinite scroll allows for more space for paid advertisements on Google, it is hypothesized that the AdWords inventory will increase as well, helping both paid search advertisers and Google, as the increased ad inventory will help advertisers gain more exposure and clicks and therefore increase Google’s revenue. The format of ads as well as ad extensions will become even more important, allowing for a wide variety of advertisement opportunities not only within the search results but also on the side bar.
Finally, there are social media and Google+ implications for the infinite scroll feature.
It is possible Google will add some Google+ related information along the sidebar, for example, including location-based social recommendations that drive users to Google+ to interact with other users and organizations. It is possible that Google+ advertisements will also become prominent, allowing advertisers to leverage both search and social information.
As Google continues to roll out the new feature, it will become more and more clear what future implications it has for business search results and advertisement.