Google is able to crawl web pages that use infinite scrolling to a certain extent. Here’s how it works and affects your SEO.
This topic was discussed during the Google Search Central SEO Business Hours Hangout that was recorded on February 18th.
Someone named Nick Jabbour joins the livestream to ask Google search attorney John Mueller a series of questions about the paged content.
One question involves infinite scrolling and whether Googlebot has advanced to the point of being able to handle it.
The short answer is: yesGooglebot can crawl and index web pages that use infinite scrolling.
However, there are limitations to What is the price Infinite scrolling that Googlebot can handle.
For more on that, keep reading the next section for Mueller’s full response.
Google places limits on crawling infinitely scrolling pages
When asked if Googlebot can handle infinite scrolling, Mueller replied:
“A little… I thought we had a page on that but I think we may not have finished with it.”
In 2014, Google published the help document Entitled “Friendly Search Recommendations for Infinite Scrolling”.
Mueller is unlikely to refer to that page given that it is nearly 10 years old. But the information in the help document can still be used to this day.
The page contains instructions for encoding a web page using infinite scrolling in a manner similar to a paginated string.
You can go this route with your implementation of infinite scrolling, but it may not be necessary.
As Mueller explains, it’s possible for Googlebot to be able to display all or most of your page the way it’s already set up:
Basically what happens when we render a page is we use a fairly high viewport, as if you had a really long screen. And we render the page to see what the page will show.
So, this is something where, depending on how you implement infinite scrolling, we could have kind of this longest page in the index. “
Mueller goes on to say that Googlebot may not be able to render everything in your page, which depends on the length of the page and how you turn on infinite scrolling.
The best way to find out how much of a page Google can crawl is to use the URL Inspection tool.
“We may not have everything that fits on that page because, depending on how you turn on infinite scrolling, it may be that you’re just loading the next page type.
And then we might have two or three of those pages loaded on one page with infinite scrolling, but not all.
So that’s something I would recommend testing that out with a scan tool and seeing how much Google will actually capture.”
As Muller says, the URL Inspection tool displays the page as Googlebot sees it.
From there you can decide if any adjustments need to be made.
Hear Mueller’s full response in the video below:
Featured image: fran_kie/Shutterstock