Over the last month Google has been seen testing two different styles of "Back to Top" button at the bottom of the mobile search results. With users being encouraged to go back to the top results, rather then move on to page two, this could have significant implications and possibly cause lower CTR's for results not on the page one.
The first test was spotted by Sergey Alakov on Nov 4, 2016 and featured a rounded blue "BACK TO TOP" button. The results appears to hover over the results once you start scrolling down the page, making it easier for users to go back to the first results.
A screenshot of the test is below:
Alakov revealed that the tests were carried out on Chrome, IOS, and did not speak highly of the overal experience it gave stating that it was "Not very Responsive".
Alakov also indicated that he felt it was trying to encourage him to go back to the search bar, rather than proceeding to page 2. Could this be another way to increase Google Revenue by pushing the user to the adverts at the top of the page? Interesting.
The next test was again spotted by Sergey Alakov just over three weeks later on Nov 28, 2016. The "Back to Top" button on this test fitted into the page below the "Next" button, smartly styled to fit in with its surroundings. It also does not appear to hover over the content, and instead is fixed in position.
A screenshot of the latest test is below:
Overall, we believe that the latest version is much smarter, and less intrusive to the user.
It remains to be seen what the exact motive behind the testing is, especially with the quite agressive first blue option. We believe that test went way beyond simply helping the user get back to the first results by actively encouraging them to do so. The second option appears less agressive on this front.
What do you think?
Are you happy to see Google encouraging the top results over page 2 results?