The way you look at Google Search results is about to change — here's why

Google Search
(Image credit: Getty Images/Yuliya Pushchenko)

Google is turning off a feature you might have gotten used to over the last 1.5 to 3 years: continuous scroll.

If you've ever been scrolling through Google Search results and seen more results automatically populate, that's continuous scroll in action. 

A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that this change improves the loading speed of initial results and avoids wasting effort on auto-loading more results that many people don't look at anyway.

Desktop users could see this change now, as the stop to continuous scrolling started rolling out on June 25. The change will roll out for mobile users sometime in the coming month.

But what is continuous scrolling reverting back to, and how will it impact you? Let's dive into it.

What's taking the place of continuous scrolling?

It feels like continuous scrolling has been around forever, but it's actually only been available on desktop for 1.5 years and mobile for 3 years. Google first debuted the feature for mobile in October 2021 and then on desktop in December 2022.

When continuous scrolling first debuted, Google said the feature would deliver "a more modern experience that's easier to scan and navigate."As someone who typically likes to see the second, third, and sometimes fourth "loading" of search results with continuous scroll, I'll be sad to see the feature go.

Now, to see more results, I'll have to click the Next arrow rather than scroll down, or on mobile, I'll need to tap on More Results. Will this impact my desire to check out more results? Probably, which is unfortunate for smaller sites that may not be able to compete with first-page results.

showing google next results

(Image credit: Future)

It's such a small thing to move my mouse to the Next button to see more results, but it's not automatic. Unfortunately, that means I and many others will probably just make do with first-page results and not make any extra effort to click to the second, third, or fourth pages. Particularly when also factoring in the recent addition of Google's generative AI Search results for many queries, we are seeing considerable changes to how we interact with the world's largest search engine.

A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that loading more results automatically with continuous scroll didn't lead to higher satisfaction from Search users. While that might be true for many users, it'd be nice if there was an option to keep continuous scrolling for users like me who might miss it.