Search Updates: October 2021

Search Updates: October 2021

Continuous Scrolling is Coming to Google Search Results

Google announced yesterday that it is rolling out what they are calling continuous scrolling on the mobile search results. Google is making it easier to scroll through search results by automatically loading newer results as users get to the end of the page. Previously, when you got to the end of a page of Google search results, there was a big “More results” button at the bottom you could tap to see more results. With continuously loaded results, you’ll be able to just keep on scrolling to see more. Google is not calling it infinite scroll, because the scroll stops after page four in which you will see a “See more” button instead of the “More results” button to tap at the bottom of the page.

As part of this change to how search results show, Google is redistributing the number of text ads that can show between the top and bottom of pages for US-English mobile queries. Now, text ads can show at the top of the second page and beyond, while fewer text ads will show at the bottom of each page. Therefore, we may see more mobile impressions, which could result in lower CTR. Additionally, Search campaigns may see more impressions from top ads and fewer impressions from bottom ads.

This change is rolling out gradually for English searches on mobile devices in the U.S. for now. It does not affect how the Google ad auction works or the way Google ad rank is calculated. Google expects clicks, conversions, average CPC, and average CPA to remain flat. Search & Destroy is monitoring accounts for any spike in impressions as continuous scrolling gradually rolls out.

Google Tests Expandable Video Previews in Search Results

Google is testing showing expandable video previews in the search results. When you hover your mouse over a video thumbnail in the Google search results it starts the preview on desktop (normal), with the video then becoming larger + including the description (test). You can preview it in a way that would be rather similar to what you might already be used to seeing on YouTube. This is another test by Google to make YouTube video content more engaging in Google's search results. Google has been placing a lot of emphasis on videos in its search results because this could potentially drive more traffic to YouTube.

Google Rolling Out New Knowledge Panel Design with Buttons at Top

Knowledge panels are a type of rich results in Google’s search results pages. They can show information about an entity such as businesses, people, animals, countries, plants, etc. This panel appears on the right side of your screen in the search results. It shows details on the particular entity you’re searching for. This is meant to give users a quick preview of information on the entity. The text, images, and other information that you see in this panel are powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph. Google decides whether or not it shows a knowledge panel in the search results. Regardless, knowledge panels are a great asset to have in the search results.

After months of testing, it seems Google is now rolling out a new design for the knowledge panels, placing them at the top of the search results and adding buttons to toggle between different topics. Previously, the knowledge panels were to the right of the search results and there were no buttons to toggle. Search & Destroy does not anticipate this update to Google’s Knowledge Graph to have any effect on paid search campaigns.

Yelp Announces New Features for Service Businesses

Yelp is rolling out new custom search filters for service queries. It enables users to filter for fast-responding businesses, businesses that provide virtual consultations, or businesses that specialize in a specific type of job or repair. These filters can be found for services like movers, plumbers, HVAC, auto repair, roofing, real estate agents, home cleaners, painters, electricians, landscaping, pest control, and flooring.

Yelp is also introducing a new feature for services businesses that are running paid search ads called themed ads. Themed ads highlight aspects of a business that may differentiate them from competitors. Available themes include highlighting “fast-responding” businesses that reply to Request-A-Quote projects within two hours and businesses that provide special offers. Businesses are selected to appear in themed ads based on their unique offerings and the kinds of jobs they specialize in. There is no additional cost to be highlighted in themed ads and Yelp plans to roll out additional themes over time. This is another feature added by Yelp to make their ads more engaging in their search results. Local businesses should take full advantage of this feature to stand out amongst their competitors.