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Google Sunsets Continuous Scroll: How Will This Impact Your SEO?

On June 25th, 2024, a significant shift occurred in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) as Google decided to retire its continuous scroll feature and revert to the traditional pagination system.

For nearly a year and a half, continuous scroll allowed users to seamlessly view more search results without the need to click through multiple pages. This change had not only transformed user experience but also reshaped SEO strategies, as it provided greater visibility for web pages beyond the coveted first page.

Now, with the return of pagination, the SEO landscape is once again evolving. The importance of ranking on the first page has never been more critical, as the ease of scrolling through results is replaced with the familiar click-through model. This transition presents both challenges and opportunities for marketers and businesses aiming to maintain or improve their organic search rankings.

In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons behind Google’s decision to end continuous scroll, explore its implications for your SEO strategy, and provide actionable insights to help you adapt to this new paradigm.

Overview of Google's Continuous Scroll Feature

Introduction and Timeline

Google introduced the continuous scroll feature for mobile search back in October 2021 and expanded it to desktop searches in December 2021.

This feature allowed users to see more search results without having to click through multiple pages, mimicking the infinite scroll experience popularized by social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

Google’s Comments on Continuous Scroll

At the time of its launch, Google stated that continuous scroll was designed to enhance user experience by making it easier to access more information with fewer clicks.

A Google spokesperson highlighted this benefit, saying:
“Starting today, we’re bringing continuous scrolling to desktop so you can continue to see more helpful search results with fewer clicks. It’s now even easier to get inspired with more information at your fingertips.”

Despite its potential, continuous scroll was not a true infinite scroll. Instead, it loaded approximately four pages worth of search results at a time, buffering and loading more results as users reached the bottom of the page.

Benefits of Continuous Scroll

The continuous scroll feature brought several advantages:

  1. Increased Visibility for Lower-Ranked Pages: Websites that did not rank on the first page of search results saw improved visibility as users could effortlessly scroll down to view additional results.)
  2. User Convenience: By reducing the need to click through multiple pages, continuous scroll aimed to create a smoother and more convenient browsing experience.
  3. Alignment with Social Media Trends: Given the popularity of infinite scrolling on social media, Google hoped to capture a similar user engagement by implementing a familiar behavior pattern.

Why Did Google Remove Continuous Scroll?

When Google introduced the continuous scroll feature, the aim was to enhance user experience by allowing users to view more search results without needing to click through multiple pages.

So why has Google decided to revert to the traditional pagination system on June 25th, 2024?

The decision seems multifaceted, influenced by both user experience data and resource management considerations.

1. User Satisfaction and Experience

Google’s primary stated reason for ending continuous scroll is to improve user satisfaction. Upon analyzing user data, Google found that automatically loading more search results did not significantly increase user satisfaction levels.

Despite its intention to streamline the search experience, continuous scroll apparently did not resonate as well with users as anticipated. Users may have found it overwhelming or less efficient than clicking through paginated results.

2. Resource Management

Continuous scroll, while user-friendly in theory, proved to be resource-intensive. Loading approximately four pages of search results at once required more server resources compared to the traditional pagination system.

Furthermore, the combination of continuous scroll with recent AI-driven features such as AI Overviews resulted in additional strain on Google’s servers.

By returning to pagination, Google can conserve resources, making the search engine’s operations more efficient.

3. Speculation from the SEO Community

Not everyone accepts Google’s official explanation at face value. The SEO community has been rife with speculation about the true motivations behind this change.

Some experts suggest that Google might be moving towards prioritising its own properties and sponsored ads over organic search results.

By reverting to pagination, there is a possibility that more clicks could be funneled towards ads and higher-ranked pages, aligning with Google’s commercial interests.

What Does This Mean for SEO?

With Google’s recent decision to end continuous scroll and return to traditional pagination, SEO strategies will need to adapt. The shift back to pagination means that competition for the top spots on the first page of search results will intensify.

The net impact is likely to result in less traffic and visibility from web pages that rank close to page 1. As a result, it’s imperative for site owners to continue the optimisation process, which includes, but is not limited to the following areas:

  1. Focus on Quality Content: Create valuable, informative, and engaging content that addresses the needs and questions of your audience. High-quality content is more likely to earn backlinks and social shares, which can boost your search rankings.
  2. Build High-Quality Backlinks: Backlinks from reputable sites signal to Google that your content is trustworthy and authoritative. Engage in ethical link-building practices such as guest blogging, influencer partnerships, and creating shareable infographics.
  3. Improve User Experience (UX): A seamless user experience can reduce bounce rates and increase dwell time—both important ranking factors. Ensure your site is fast, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate.
  4. Always Monitor and Analyse: Use analytics tools to track your rankings, traffic, and user behavior. Regularly analyze this data to understand what’s working and where improvements are needed.

By taking these steps, site owners can better position themselves to succeed in a post-continuous scroll world, ensuring that their websites remain visible and competitive despite the return to traditional pagination.


Although continuous scroll aimed to improve user experience and increase the visibility of lower-ranked web pages, Google decided to retire the feature on June 25th, 2024, citing data analysis that showed no significant increase in user satisfaction.

The reversion to the traditional pagination system marks a notable shift in SEO strategies, emphasizing once again the importance of ranking on the much converted first page of search results.

If your website has been adversely impacted by the recent updates on Google SERP, get in touch with our experienced SEO team to discuss how we can help. Simple call us today on 020 7205 2755 or complete the form on this page.