More answers displayed in the search results and a big share of mobile searches influence the increase of zero-clicks. Recent research showed that zero-click searches amount to 65% of all searches!
In 2020, about 65% of searches carried out in Google didn’t result in clicking on any search result. It’s 15 percentage points more than the year before, however, the methodology of the analysis has changed a little bit. Let’s have a look at Rand Fishkin’s research.
The analysis covered 5.1 trillion searches (just to make sure you get this scale: 5 100 000 000 000!) both from desktop and mobile devices (including those from iOS). In 2019 the same analysis covers “just” a billion searches and didn’t include those carried on the iOS system. Rand Fishkin admits:
Nonetheless, it seems probable that if the previous panel were still available, it would show a similar trend of increasing click cannibalization by Google.
It can be observed that significantly more zero-click searches take place on mobile phones. Seems fair, as when searching for information via phone we tend to look for a quick answer and those provided directly in SERPs are satisfactory.
For comparison, zero-click searches on the desktop amount to 46%:
The increase in the number of zero-click searches
To illustrate the scale of increase in the number of zero-clicks, Rand presented statistics from the last 3 years:
- An overall number of Google searches is growing. At the end of 2019, the number dropped, but only to quickly increase again. It’s possible that the changes were influenced by the pandemic situation and the unexpected change of many lifestyles.
- The share of clicks in paid search results is growing.
- The share of clicks in organic search results is also increasing. It can be connected to the growth of desktop searches (once again, the pandemic could also have its say here)
- At the beginning of 2021, the share of zero-clicks decreased – the result of Google limited displaying featured snippets.
How Is It Influencing SEO?
Undoubtedly, obtaining the desired answer from the search result pages can contribute to decreasing the traffic on a website. Some industries may feel it more than others (e.g tourism industry). Being displayed in a featured snippet ( the answer provided right in the search results) can also increase brand awareness. If users get interested in a particular topic they can even visit the page linked in the featured snippet.
Want to increase your chances of being displayed on the zero position with extended search results? I’m writing about it in the article: On-SERP SEO. The Future of Google Search Without Clicking