What does Google’s infinite scroll on mobile mean for advertisers?
Google announced that mobile users will now have continuous scroll in search results. This means that instead of coming upon a “See More” button after about ten results, searchers will be able to continue scrolling through approximately four pages of search results before seeing the “See More” link.
This has many advertisers wondering what will happen to their Google Ads on mobile devices. This change, which is rolling out over the next two weeks, “does not affect how the ad auction works or the way Ad Rank is calculated,” said Mohamed Farid, Product Manager at Google Ads. But there may be some changes in metrics.
If the page is “infinite” what will happen to ads at the top and bottom? Because of the change to the way search results are now displayed on mobile devices, 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,” said Farid. Shopping and Local ads will remain the same.
Can ads show multiple times for a single query? In short, yes. Google says that this has always been the case, though. “Ads have always been eligible (based on Ad Rank) to show on a search results page and again on a subsequent page,” wrote Farid. Google Ad’s systems take into account if your ad was shown on a previous page when it calculates your Ad Rank for each page.
How will my metrics change? You may see more mobile impressions and a lower CTR on Search, Shopping, and Local Ads. “We expect clicks, conversions, average CPC, and average CPA to remain flat,” added Farid in the Q&A document. “Search campaigns may see more impressions from top ads and fewer impressions from bottom ads.”
Should I change anything? “To understand your performance based on where your text ads show on the search results page, consider segmenting your performance data by “Top vs. Other” and reviewing your prominence metrics.
Why we care. This is an important change to communicate to clients and stakeholders who may be invested in the minutiae of campaign metrics. Google recommends reviewing your advertising goals and “monitoring your campaigns and continuing to optimize them based on your business objectives.” This change is only for U.S.-based queries right now but will roll out to additional countries and languages in 2022.