Google Fixes Chrome Page Jumps With Scroll Anchoring Update

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Chrome, whether on desktop or on mobile, has its fair share of issues, but one of those issues, pages jumping around or scrolling back to the top when new content loads, is being fought off by a new feature called scroll anchoring. The problem, whenever you scroll down a new page while it's still loading, new content loading while you're knee-deep in content could force the window back up by about the length of the content, or in some cases all the way to the top. This is especially egregious with large images or full-page ads that take longer to load than the page's text content does. Scroll anchoring prevents exactly that from happening, and is already available to most Chrome users, preventing an average of three unwelcome scrolling hijacks per page view, according to Google's data.

Like just about everything else Google does, scroll anchoring is under constant improvement. Users on the latest version of Chrome who have the feature may still notice a jump here and there, but Google's systems are getting better and better each day at detecting and fighting the different things that can cause a page jump. The feature got its start in version 56 of Chrome, but has finally come to a point now where it's preventing a large enough amount of undue jumping around that Google has taken to their blog to let users know that the feature is working on their behalf, and to explain to web developers exactly what the feature means for their pages and content.

For webmasters and web developers, the feature works mostly automatically. Whenever web code calls the "overflow-anchor" function in CSS, the feature is triggered to ensure that the function doesn't cause a page jump. On more complicated pages, however, scroll anchoring is automatically disabled on complicated interactive layouts and layouts that include their own back and forward navigation buttons or any reasonable facsimile thereof, in order to avoid compatibility issues. Google also has a reporting system and an incubator community group that web developers can use to help Google find and stamp out triggers for page jumping.

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