Google is introducing a “Continuous Scrolling” feature on the desktop so users don’t have to navigate across pages to find the relevant search results for English-language queries in the U.S., expanding a feature the company has offered on mobile for some time.
Notably, users shouldn’t mistake continuous scrolling for infinite scrolling. With continuous scrolling, users can see up to six pages of search results by scrolling down before they see the “More” button to look for further results. On mobile, Google limits continuous scrolling to four pages of search results in one go.
Google has traditionally had a “paged” approach to search results. That means, up until this point, when users scrolled down the search result page and wanted to see more results, they had to click on the page number at the bottom.
The new feature can also provide more visibility to sites that did not rank high enough to be on the first page. People tend to avoid going to the second page and very few brave souls go to pages afterward — hence the joke: the best place to hide something criminally damaging is page 2 of Google search results.
The change comes at a time when many users complain that Google search results are degrading in quality. In response, Google has made a series of changes, including making search results more visual. In September, it also rolled out a feature that surfaced results from Reddit and Quora under a section called “Discussions and forums”.
While a lot of features have a mobile-first design, Google is also working on enhancing desktop search. The company has been testing widget-styled cards on the home screen to give users access to information like weather and stocks at a glance.