Most people never got a chance to use Google Quick Scroll. It was an extension made by Google that flashed up on the Chrome web store for a relatively brief period around 2016. You can still install it now, but it won’t work. It’s been depreciated, the icon will be greyed out.
How was Quick Scroll so useful? Basically, when you visited a webpage from a Google Search, a little Quick Scroll box popped up in the right corner of the webpage. This box contained clickable links to places on the webpage that match what you were searching for. So you can jump straight to the most relevant parts of any website. No scrolling! No Ctrl-f! Incredible! Here is a video demonstration:
This extension was the number 1 thing keeping me from switching to Firefox in 2016. Why did Google depreciate their most useful extension? The answer has a touch of conspiracy…
Making Money: The Evilest Thing In The World
Google makes money through advertising revenue, and a large part of this is through advertising on webpages (its Google Adsense program). People see more ads on a webpage if they have to scroll around manually trying to find what they are actually looking for. Google loses money if people spend less time on webpages.
Quick Scroll was decreasing Google’s revenue, and why would Google want its own extension doing that?
So it depreciated its best extension, and as ‘evil’ as that is, Google is a business, so it’s quite understandable.
Here’s an alternative extension (that’s not made by Google)
I’ve been searching for an alternative extension since Quick Scroll was depreciated in 2016. But actually, when writing this very article I finally found an adequate alternative. This extension called Target Search makes the description underneath each Google result a clickable link, so that you can click it and jump straight to that part on the page. It’s an extremely neat concept, and it has changed my browsing experience quite a lot today.
But, the Quick Scroll conspiracy makes us think seriously about Google’s motivations
This Quick Scroll story has some implications to it, and these are even more serious than a productivity handicap (if you can believe that). This story makes us think about the nature of Google’s motivations, which is very serious considering the monolithic, monopolistic scale of Google.
Google has a motivation to make us spend longer finding what we are looking for on webpages, and this reminds me of the conspiratorial observation that doctors have the incentive to keep us in poor health.
And, here’s another shady motivation to throw into the mix: Google has a motivation to have us make more Google searches, because it earns money from search engine ads as well as webpage ads.
So Google is making money from wasting our time. (I would be more peeved if Google hadn’t saved me so many gazillions of hours in my life, but still, this is something to be aware of.)
Here’s a brief list of other Chrome features that Google could easily make, but which would be too time-saving, and hence would impact revenue:
- A bookmarks sidebar
- A decent bookmarks manager
- A table of contents menu for webpages
- A ‘distraction free’ mode
- Keyboard shortcuts to jump to the top or bottom of the page
Bookmarks are a huge area in which Google actively takes steps to reduce our efficiency. Bookmarks are the antithesis of Google. They circumvent Google Search, jumping straight to a webpage. Hence Google has never developed Chrome’s bookmarking capabilities at all really. Oh wait, except for when it introduced its new Bookmark Manager in 2016 that had all the Material Designed aesthetics to look more efficient, but actually had serious design flaws that everyone hated, for instance, no apparent ‘create folder’ option, no way to recover deleted bookmarks (!!!). I’m not one to believe that 9/11 was an inside job, or that Mark Zuckerberg is a lizard, but I do believe that Chrome’s new bookmarks where a conspiracy to turn people off bookmarking.
How this relates to the SEO of your business website
As usual, we bring it back to your humble business website. What’s the moral of the story? It’s that we should pay attention to what makes Google money, and what motivates Google now and into the future. Right now, Google’s new major reason for making us use Google search is that it can make websites load 4 times faster. Mobile users need this. But also, website owners want this, because they lose far less customers to slow page load times on mobiles. To get this tremendous speed boost, you need to get a simplified version of your website that shows only on mobile. If you are interested in boosting your website by 400%, you should have a look at our Jetpak product ».