Google today announced that it is changing how search works on mobile devices, initially in the United States. Now, when you reach the bottom of a set of search results on your phone, you won’t have to tap to move to the next page. Instead, the next set of results will load automatically so you can continuously scroll down to see more information.
The change will roll out to the mobile web and will be supported on the Google mobile app for iOS and Android in the US for most searches in English at this time. Because this is a phased version, you may initially encounter some results that scroll and others that don’t.
While most people find what they’re looking for in the first few results, according to Google, those looking for additional information tend to crawl four pages of search results. This is why the company is making the switch, we are told. Now these users will be able to move more seamlessly between pages without having to click the “see more” button at the bottom of the page.
Google notes that this could be particularly useful for searches where people are looking for a variety of ideas or inspiration on a given topic, instead of just quick answers.
However, there are other advantages to this design as well, which Google did not refer to.
For starters, continuous scrolling doesn’t require you to stop at an arbitrary point in your search and then tap a link to move forward – a holdover from the era of computer web search. This type of “click to learn more” design seems outdated in a world where in-app feeds – like Facebook’s news feed, for example – present an endless stream of information and updates. And by continuing to scroll, Google users may end up spending more time in the app where they will also see more ads.
Continuous scrolling could also give Google more flexibility in terms of ad placement. Instead of limiting ads to the top of a results page, they could fit into search results as you move down, more like the way ads on social media feeds appear.
While Google hasn’t publicly detailed its ad plans with this change, the company told us during the follow-up that it will redistribute the number of text ads that appear between the top and bottom of pages for mobile queries. in American English. Now text ads will show at the top of the second page and beyond, while fewer text ads will show at the bottom of each page. However, we understand that the way Shopping and Local ads are served at this time has not changed.
Also, as Google Search is cluttered with boxes of information, search suggestions, products to buy, and buttons that take you to other search areas, like videos, it has become more difficult to press. on the correct button to advance in the search results. This is especially true because Google will darken other buttons in the hopes of grabbing your attention and encouraging a click to another destination.
The search change follows a modern redesign of the mobile results page announced earlier this year, which aimed to make search results easier to read through the use of additional white space in certain areas and colors in others; a bigger, bolder font (Google’s, actually); and an abandonment of rounded and shaded boxes in favor of straight lines; among others.
However, this change was more about how search results looked, not how they worked.
Google says new continuous scrolling will begin rolling out in the United States today