Have you ever used Google to find some information—but then not needed to click on any of the results? More and more often now, the answer you need will be on the first page of Google. You don’t need to go anywhere else. It’s known as zero click search.
This is all by design, Google’s design. According to Axios Media, the majority of Google searches now don’t result in any clicks.
We’ve talked about native content before as it relates to Facebook; since Facebook wants to keep you on its site, looking at its ads, the site’s algorithm put a lower priority on posts that contain links. Google does something similar. The more they keep you on their platform, the more attention and exposure and opportunity they have. They can accomplish their goal—not all the time, but often enough—by making sure users don’t have to click on any of the results and go to another website.
Which all boils down to—Google is trying to keep people from your site, but doing it in a way that benefits their user as they should. It’s also not like it’s 100% zero click search.
The good news is that there are other ways people can get your link—and even if someone goes looking for you through Google, the search engine is still in the business of providing information, so users are still learning about you, even if your site statistics drop.
If you rely on a third-party platform, you are at their mercy. We’ve seen this countless times now, with all sorts of platforms; picking one service and sticking with it without thinking is a bad idea because the rules can change without warning. Suddenly that incredibly useful service you love gets a bit less useful. That’s why it’s important to always be ready to adapt. And no matter how the rules of the game change, you can win with amazing content, consistent exposure, intelligent branding, and not getting lost in old-school metrics that people love to throw around.
If an individual sees your title, your meta-description, and your brand on Google, but never clicks (zero click search) that doesn’t mean they didn’t pay attention to it. They got it in a smaller dose, but a dose nonetheless.
Thoughts From Scott Upton on the KazCM Team
Scott Upton, who is knee-deep in website work and SEO as we write, read the Axios Media article, too, and said:
The fact Google now has 94% of search engine traffic is a significant growth compared to the last numbers I saw.
Besides the article, read some of the comments–there are some great insights there too. One person wrote, and we paraphrase, “SEO is important, but what good is a perfectly optimized, high-ranking website for a high-volume query that will inevitably place below ads and Amazon.”
While the reality is a bit more nuanced and I (Scott) can’t fully agree with this statement; for a small business it is becoming increasingly challenging and this goes back to Eric’s takeaway: content, exposure, brand, and not being fooled by old school metrics.