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Less Than Half Of Google Searches Result In A Click

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Craig Noonan
22nd October 2019

In June of 2019, for the first time ever, a majority of all browser based searches on Google resulted in zero clicks.

First of all, what does that mean? More people are going to Google and doing more searches but less people are clicking on results. Google is now presenting answers on the SERP itself. Take a look at what appears when I search “flights to Edinburgh”.

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Most of the information I need to make a decision is already here on the first page and I don’t need to click anything. I’ve got the cost and flight times right in front of me without having to go to another website.

Naturally we’d assume that the rise in no-click searches is having an impact on both Organic and Paid search clicks. However, that’s only partly true. See how they’ve changed in this table from SparkToro.

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It is only the Organic results that are being impacted by this, and in February 2018 Paid clicks saw more than 3% of all clicks whilst in February 2016 that was only 1.83% for Mobile.

Why is this an important topic?

On July 23rd 2019, the US Congressional Panel asked Adam Cohen of Google direct questions about their activities. Here’s a snapshot below and you can view the full PDF here which also has the letters to Facebook & Amazon.

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Now, Google didn’t reply direct responses to these questions but we can use the data provided by Jumpshot to get these answers:

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This again shows a continued trend from the February 2016 & 2018 graphic where Paid clicks are a little up, Organic are a little down and No Clicks are on the rise.

There are some other trends we can pick up when we look at these figure:

  • The percent of searches available as organic traffic from Google is steadily declining, particularly on mobile
  • Paid clicks tend to increase whenever Google makes changes to how those results are displayed, and then slowly decline as searches get more familiar with spotting and avoiding them
  • Google’s on going attempts to answer more searches without a click to any result, or a click to Google’s own properties are proving successful. As a result, zero click searches and clicks that bring searchers to a Google owned site keep rising.

So, what is a marketer, an entrepreneur or web creator to do? We’ll explore this in more detail in another post but for now…

  • Find ways to get value from zero click searches
  • Seek out keywords which have higher CTR opportunities
  • Get your content optimised on Google properties, such as YouTube, Maps, Images, Amp etc.

 

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