Infinite Scroll Is Infinitely Bad for SEO

23

JULY, 2017

It made sense on some level. With the action users learned on Facebook and Instagram, scrolling through news feeds until they got repetitive stress injuries in their thumbs, websites should do the same thing. Why build more than one page? Users could just scroll through all your content, in the order you want it shown, and maybe skip around the page with the menu. Perfect!  Except it’s not perfect for SEO. Here’s why.

Every page on your site is a door in. Google has discovered that users don’t like starting on the homepage of a site. Users want to search and jump directly to the information that answers their query, not navigate an entire site to find it. Google is in the business of giving searchers an easy, seamless experience. Consider this scenario from the user’s point of view:

  1. Search ‘dog groomers st cloud’
  2. Click on first organic result
  3. Land on a veterinarian or pet retail homepage
  4. Click on ‘Services’ in site menu
  5. Scroll down to section with all services, including dog grooming
  6. Click on/scroll down to dog grooming to get prices, hours, appointment times, etc.

OR

  1. Search ‘dog groomers st cloud’
  2. Click on first organic result
  3. Land on page all about dog grooming services including prices, hours, appointment times, etc.

If you were the user, which experience would you rather have? Because users clearly prefer the second scenario, Google also does. This means that it considers how pertinent the information on the page is to that user’s search, matching a searcher with a page WITHIN a site that has content to answer the query.

What this means for infinite scroll designs is that they have no opportunity to be ranked. If every page on your site is a door and you only have one, not as many people are going to get through the door.

“Your website isn’t about what you want. It is about what the users want.”

Too often, during a web design process, businesses are concerned with what they want to communicate to customers, instead of asking themselves what the customers want to hear.  Does this sound familiar? “Let’s not put the price/hours/meeting time/email address on the site because we want people to call for that information. That way, we get their phone number/name/email address.”  If it does, think about the assumption you’re making about site visitors. You are making the assumption that they want to talk to you so badly that they will call. Instead of just clicking to your competitor’s site and getting the information they need. As a consumer, I know which one I would do.

In essence, infinite scroll websites are difficult to navigate, don’t have enough content to rank on Google, and frustrating for users. All of which add up to users leaving the site for another.

Curious about how to fix your infinite scroll problem? Give BadCat a call!

 

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