As you know, Google is rolling out continuous scroll on mobile search. To be honest, in my original reporting on this topic, I covered both the image of Search Console and Google Ads reporting – saying there is no direct impact outside of how user behavior may change. But it seems some are still asking about how this change impacts the performance reports in Search Console.
They really don’t impact them directly, here is what was in my original reporting:
Continuous scroll also does not change how position reporting works in Search Console. Positions reporting remains as if pages weren’t automatically loaded.
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) October 14, 2021
John Mueller from Google added:
Nothing changes for Search Console – position is position. We don’t track pages there.
I don’t have insight into what 3rd-party rank trackers do here — they usually operate outside of our terms of service anyway.
— 🧀 John 🧀 (@JohnMu) October 14, 2021
My understanding is (I haven’t had time to test, still catching up from a week out) that we still load the results in groups of about 10, so while it looks more like a single page, it’s still roughly “10/page”.
— 🧀 John 🧀 (@JohnMu) October 18, 2021
Here is a more recent tweet from John on this:
AFAIK it still loads (in the background) in batches of ca 10, so there will be some “pagination” even if it’s more transparent. I suspect it will increase impressions (easier to see more results), keeping clicks stable. So if you purely look at CTR, you’ll see subtle changes.
— 🧀 John 🧀 (@JohnMu) October 21, 2021
And he also spoke about this in his recent video hangout at the 46:57 mark where he said:
But essentially, from our side we’re still loading the search results in groups of 10, essentially. And as a user scrolls down on the page, we kind of dynamically load the next set of 10 results there. And when that set of 10 results is loaded, that counts as an impression. So that basically means that kind of the scrolling down, and you start seeing page two of the search results, that we would see is like, well, this is page two now.
And it now has impressions, similar to if someone were to just click on page two directly in the links. So from that point of view, not much really changes there.
What I think will change a little bit is that users will probably scroll a little bit easier to page two, page three, or four. And based on that, the number of impressions that a website can get in the search results will probably go up a little bit. I don’t think it’ll be like an extreme change, but probably it’ll be more the case that if you were ranking on page two, then suddenly your website gets a lot more impressions just because it’s easier to reach page two in the search results. And the number of clicks I suspect will remain similar, because people will kind of scroll up and down and look at the results on a page. And they’ll click on one of them. So probably what will happen is impressions go up a little bit. Clicks stay the same. That means your click through rate tends to go down a little bit. And if you’re focusing purely on click through rate for SEO, then I suspect that will be a little bit of a kind of– I don’t know– weird situation, because it’s hard to determine, did the click through rate drop because this page was shown in this continuous scroll environment? Or did it drop because users saw it, but they didn’t like to click on it as much anymore? So that’s I think kind of tricky there. One thing that, I don’t know, helps a little bit I think is we do this continuous scrolling just for the first four pages. And then afterwards you click on kind of the load more or next page. I don’t know what exactly it’s called. So it’s not something that you would see if you were ranking on page five or six, at least not at the moment.
Here is that video:
So no direct reporting changes because page two is still page two. But if searchers tend to scroll more and click on results from page two, your CTR may change. Maybe…
Forum discussion at Twitter.