Why it matters: It was one of the staples of classic web search, but not anymore: Google has announced the retirement of paged results for the company's SERP functionality, offering users (almost) infinite scrolling instead.
With a simple tweet posted two days ago, Google has announced one of the most revolutionary changes the company is bringing to its web search service: paged results will be replaced by continuous (aka "infinite") scrolling, so user can "continue to see more search results easily."
"When you reach the bottom of a search results page," Google said, "you'll now be able to see up to six pages of results" at the same time before being offered a classic "see more" button to turn the page. So continuous scrolling won't actually be completely continuous or infinite, even though the novel approach will change the search conventions Google has followed since the beginning of its commercial venture.
Continuous scrolling will be first available for users of Google Search in the US, and just for English search results. The new feature was first introduced on mobile in October last year, when Google highlighted how continuous scrolling would make searching seamless and easier.
Starting today, we're bringing continuous scrolling to desktop in English in the U.S. so you can continue to see more search results easily. When you reach the bottom of a search results page, you'll now be able to see up to six pages of results. pic.twitter.com/xIuVP24FFm--- Google (@Google) December 5, 2022
"While you can often find what you're looking for in the first few results," Google said, "sometimes you want to keep looking." Most people who want additional information tend to browse up to four pages of search results, the company stated, and continuous search should be the solution to this kind of search habit.
Continuous/infinite search has indeed become the norm for a good chunk of the modern web, both for ginormous social networks and modest personal blogs. Anyhow, SERP functionality aside, Google is introducing another feature to improve and modernize its most important service for consumers and companies on the web.
Starting with English users in the US on mobile web (Android, iOS), in the coming days Google will introduce new, scrollable topic filters at the top of search results. Right now, filters can be used to restrict results to just videos, news, images or shopping sites. The new related topic will offer more contextual filtering options, Google said, such as "healthy" or "easy" filters when you search for dinner ideas, "vegetarian" or "quick" for healthy meals and so on.