Infinite scroll: good or bad for you site?

You may have noticed it while browsing on the internet: the infinite scrolling pages! This feature has become highly popular among the well-known websites. Even some of the best affiliate sites now use the infinite scrolling pages. Still, the question remains: Is this a good thing?

Is the infinite scrolling design good for the best affiliate site?

About the infinite scroll

This is a web design technique that automatically loads new content as a viewer scrolls down a webpage and the result is that the user has the feeling of a seemingly endless stream of content. There are some sites that display a “load more” button when the bottom of a page is reached. Among the well-known sites that use infinite scroll we mention: Facebook, Twitter or Google Image Search. To this list we can also add the name of some of the best affiliate sites.

Infinite scroll is not for every site

Like many other design choices, the infinite scroll is not for fitted for every website. If a user is just exploring a site with no definitive goal in mind, he or she might enjoy the infinite scroll. They can wander on the site and discover content in a leisurely manner. But when a user wants to complete a goal, infinite scrolling becomes a nightmare, making the viewer frustrated and unhappy.

An affiliate site is perceived by the viewers as a site where they can make an action on: like subscribing, downloading, etc. When an affiliate site gives its viewers an infinite scroll experience, the users may not respond very well! It can be a downfall even for the best affiliate sites. If a task-oriented user is on a site, they have certain expectations for how the site interactions happen. They usually use a “mind map” of where buttons are in relation to each other and this helps them in navigating the site. The infinite scroll breaks that map by removing pagination, breaking the back button and changing the definition of the toolbar.

The problems of the infinite scroll:

  • Scrollbar issues;
  • Too much data;
  • Inability to reach the page footer;
  • Lost back button functionality;
  • Mapping problems;
  • The users are overwhelmed.

The conclusion: Yes or no to the infinite scroll?

Yes, it can work well, but it’s not for every site! Even the best affiliate sites have reported difficulties when using this design. The best advice is to test a curated content page with proper site flow versus your infinite pages. Most likely your curated pages will have better results, but still is important to make the testing before jumping to conclusions.

If you decide that infinite scroll is good for your website, we recommend that you read the recommendations that Google has for optimizing a page with infinite scroll. The best affiliate sites should also take a look at their suggestions! Make sure that the user’s intent matches the design of your affiliate site, infinite scroll included or not!