Infinite Scrolling: Is It For Your Website? | Search Group
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Infinite Scrolling: Is it for your Website?

Facebook does it, and so does Twitter. Infinite scrolling has apparently become an in thing among websites today, as more and more sites are opting for this feature. However, it may not be as great for one website as it is for another… On the wrong site, infinite scrolling can be the cause of more harm than good when it comes to how search engines index your site.

What is infinite scrolling?

As the name suggests, it is a feature that allows you to keep on scrolling to access other parts of a website. This is opposed to websites that are divided into several pages. Aside from Facebook and Twitter, other clear examples of sites that use this feature are Pinterest and certain themes in Tumblr.

Infinite Scrolling
Image from Official Google Webmaster Central

There are many reasons why people are taking a liking to infinite scrolling. For one, it offers a better experience for people who are using mobile devices. You only need to swipe to see other parts of the site. Incidentally, the rapid increase in this feature’s popularity may be attributed to the rise in Internet users who surf using their mobile devices.

Infinite scrolling is also a great solution for people who do not go beyond the first few pages of content. Content keeps on loading for as long as the site visitor keeps on scrolling. For this reason, this feature is great for websites that post a great volume of images and for those that need content exposure.

Why is infinite scrolling not for your website?

There are several answers to this question. From the perspective of the user, it is hard to get back to past content. You have to keep on scrolling until you find the item you are looking for. This is unlike page-divided websites where you can just remember the page number and you are ready to go back when you want to. Additionally, loading time can suffer the deeper you get into the site.

Infinite scrolling is also not SEO-friendly. Google’s bots typically cannot crawl past the initial page, greatly reducing your site’s chances of getting indexed based on the content that has been created, no matter how many posts you have in your site. It is virtually impossible for crawlers to “Read More,” especially not without the right Javascript. Unfortunately, many websites do not have replacements for Javascript.

To remedy the problem, Google issued instructions for website owners using infinite scrolling on how to get their site back in the rankings. Their advice included breaking up the components into separate pages that are accessible even without Javascript. They also recommended shortening the load time in each page.

Infinite scrolling may boost the effectiveness of certain websites, but it is not guaranteed to work every time. Consider what your website has to offer, and whether it would benefit your customers and your staff to implement such a change.

Learn more about the practices that will boost your website’s place in search engine rankings. Search Group is composed of online marketing and search engine optimisation experts who help you to achieve your desired website ranking. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates about SEO and SEM best practices.

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