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Local Memo: Google Launches Continuous Scrolling for Mobile Search

In this week’s update, learn about Google’s new continuous scrolling on mobile; modified GMB identity attributes; message response times in the GMB app; Facebook’s virtual presentations for Advertising Week; Nextdoor’s latest consumer report; and Yelp’s updated features for service professionals.


Google Launches Continuous Scrolling for Mobile Search

In a seemingly small move that may have larger implications, Google has replaced the “See more” button at the bottom of the mobile SERP with continuous scrolling, so that when a user gets to the bottom of the page, more results will appear automatically. This is not quite the same as lazy loading, where a page loads content progressively until it gets to the end; instead, Google will now show you approximately four pages of results (or the equivalent) before presenting the “See more” button. The new rollout was announced on October 14 and should be seen by all users shortly. 


Continuous scrolling has actually been tested by Google several times going all the way back to 2011. In making the change official, Google seems to be indicating that it sees evidence that users want to access a larger number of results more easily. It may be too dramatic to say that Google has abolished the concept of “page one,” but the company has certainly increased the likelihood that lower ranking results will be seen, potentially increasing click through rates for sites in highly competitive niches.


Image courtesy Google / Search Engine Journal


GMB Attributes for “Women-led” and “Veteran-led” Updated to “Owned”

SOCi’s own eagle-eyed Michael Snow has detected a small but notable change in the identity attributes section of Google My Business. The attributes that used to show as “women-led” and “veteran-led” now appear as “women-owned” and “veteran-owned,” the wording change aligning them with “Black-owned” and the recently launched “Latino-owned.” It’s interesting to note that Google has chosen “owned” over “led,” suggesting that the management of one store or office of a multi-location business no longer qualifies for a designation. But the move does lend more clarity and consistency to Google’s identify attributes. Yelp, it’s worth mentioning, still has more identity attributes than Google, offering options such as “Asian-owned,” “LGBTQ-owned,” and the arguably broader designation “Latinx-owned.”



New versions of GMB identity attributes


Message Response Time Added to GMB App

As pointed out on Twitter by Claire Carlile, the Google My Business app for business owners has made some changes to its support for Messages, including relocation of the edit welcome message tool. The most significant update is a new report on the average response time for the business, which appears in a grey bar at the top of the screen. As a reminder, Google recommends that businesses using the Messages feature respond to all inbound messages within 24 hours, and states that the feature may be turned off for any business that habitually exceeds that timeframe. Users also see typical response times from the business when they use the Messages feature, with indicators like “Usually responds in a few minutes” or “Usually responds in a day.” 



Image courtesy Claire Carlile / Search Engine Roundtable


Facebook Announces Advertising Week Sessions 

Facebook has launched a mini-site that will host a virtual version of its Advertising Week presentations this week in New York. With sessions each day from Monday through Thursday, Facebook will cover topics such as “The Critical Role of Creators in Advertising,” “The Future of Shopping,” “The Business of Community,” and “Supporting Sustainable Representation.” Co-presenters include representatives from Peloton, Estée Lauder, and Deloitte. Facebook’s themes include the democratization of creativity, the power of live shopping, and the influencer economy. Check out the mini-site for the full schedule of presentations. 


Nextdoor Survey Shows Consumers Prefer Local

Nextdoor has unveiled the latest edition of its Insights Series, reporting on trends in its community of neighborhoods. Amongst other stats that demonstrate how Nextdoor users interact with their local communities, the report asks users to share their feelings about local businesses as well as national brands. It finds that localized messaging on the part of brands results in 58% greater engagement, such as a campaign from Traeger Grills focusing on stories of neighborhood kindness. According to the report, the pandemic has caused 44% of respondents to make an effort to spend more with local businesses, especially in certain categories, as the graph below demonstrates.



Image courtesy Nextdoor


Yelp Adds New Features for Service Providers

Yelp has announced several new features for service-oriented businesses in a variety of categories including movers, plumbers, auto repair, home cleaning, and many more. Yelp says it is “differentiating the experience for services businesses by helping consumers start their project, find the right pro for them, and mak[ing] it easier to help the community by contributing a review.” Service professionals will now be able to configure certain attributes that Yelp users can utilize in order to filter results for a given service category. These service attributes include items like free consultations or specialties.


Yelp has also launched new Themed Ads for service providers that help them highlight their qualifications, along with a new review flow that uses information from initial quote requests to pre-populate review content, thus encouraging consumers to leave detailed reviews after the service is completed. Finally, Yelp will offer Project Cost Guides designed to help consumers understand the likely cost of hiring a professional, with estimates based on millions of prior job quotes. These moves position Yelp to compete with pure-play sites like HomeAdvisor as well as with Google’s Local Service Ads platform. 

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