Infinite scroll is a trending feature on websites offering non-stop scrolling and viewing without having to click onto the next page. This kind of ease of access is a great user experience design element that keeps viewers browsing longer. It is not a new idea, but it is becoming a huge trend, sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and online shopping websites for example. Though it is great for the user, infinite scroll creates a lot of problems for Google bots who are crawling your site. Because the bot cannot mimic the actions of a user, such as scrolling down the page, prompting your site to display more content, the bot can only see what is initially displayed, creating some serious SEO problems.
Should I stop using Infinite Scroll because of SEO?
The answer is 100% no! Your website should be first and foremost friendly and accessible for your users, not robots. There are ways to work around this issue and make infinite scroll pages SEO compatible and increase your search results.
Google said that in order to “make sure that search engines can crawl individual items linked from an infinite scroll page, make sure that you or your content management system produces a paginated series (component pages) to go along with your infinite scroll.”
Suggestions for making infinite scroll sites SEO friendly
A report and tutorial from Google suggests the following:
- Making sure all items are immediately accessible
With traditional infinite scroll, content that loads as your scroll down after the initial page load – which means anything not initially loaded is completely invisible to bots and crawlers. They will not pick up that content at all
- No Duplicates
As we always remind out clients, duplicate content is your worst enemy. Read more about why here. Make sure each content item only appears once in the paginated series
To read a more in depth report, you can access the tutorial here: googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com