Zero click searches increased from almost 50% to 65%
Zero click searches are queries in search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yandex where searches end without a click on an organic search result. In a recent study (2019) of where users go after getting to the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP):
- 48.96% zero-click searches (64.82% in 2020)
- 41.45% organic clicks to non-Google sites
- 5.90% organic clicks to Google sites (such as Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, etc.)
- 3.58% paid clicks to non-google sites
- 0.11% paid click to Google sites
So an increasing numbers of answers to a queries ends without the user having to click further and visit another site.
Google dominance: Trend of increasing click cannibalization by Google
Google’s dominance in search and digital marketing means that by displaying ads or its own products, Google can extract value from zero-click searches, while other sites might not – Zero-click’s growing dominance complicates measuring SEO efforts, with a big gap between the number of searches performed (volume) and the number of clicks on the search results. Google sources much of the content that appears on its results pages from publishers and they may lose more and more traffic as the proportion of zero-click searches increase.
What to do about it
According to Fishkin: “Designing content with rich results in mind is one way companies can increase their visibility on the search results page — what Fishkin refers to as and “on-SERP SEO” — and the attribution from those results may help familiarize users with your brand. Buying ads will also help you do this, Fishkin said.”
“Offline brand campaigns, such as billboards, radio and TV ads can also influence search behavior. If users are actively seeking out your brand, claiming or suggesting changes to your knowledge panel can help you positively influence brand perception. To bolster your brand even further, Fishkin recommended reputation management SEO to help control branded search results.”
Optimizing for Google’s featured snippets (Featured snippets are short snippets of text that appear at the top of Google’s search results to quickly answer a searcher’s query. The content inside a featured snippet is automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index) and adding schema markup (Schema markup is code that you place on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users) may help drive awareness.
Create featured snippets: Know the questions your readers are asking and create content specifically to answer these questions – problem solving. On Schema Markup read How to Boost Your SEO by Using Schema Markup by Neil Patel.
Search Engine Land: Zero-click Google searches rose to nearly 65% in 2020
Search Engine Land: Rand Fishkin on optimizing for and against Google
Similarweb: Zero-Click Searches – How They Impact SEO