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What is Zero Click Search and How Does it Affect My SEO?

By Erin Meyer

Those of us who are old enough to remember being in school and pouring through encyclopedias and reference books marvel at the idea of that information now being just a search and a click away on a handheld device. Research could not be simpler, right? Then came zero click search results…

Zero click search happens when an internet user types in a query, and the desired information appears in the form of a featured snippet, image, graph, or answer box at the top of the search results. No click occurs because the information was readily available on the search page, as opposed to being on a linked webpage.

Zero Click Searches Rose 65% During 2020

According to a recent study, the percentage of Google searches that did not end in a click rose to 65% during the year 2020. Search Engine Land discusses the potential impacts this trend could have, including the possibility that “Google can extract value from zero-click searches” by displaying its own content, leading to a decrease in the traffic other publishers could earn.

Optimize Snippets and Schema Markup

Search Engine Land explains that not all businesses will be impacted in the same way by zero click searches. Specifically, they mention that “industries that Google competes with” such as review platforms, will be most likely to lose a share of their traffic. They recommend optimizing for featured snippets and adding schema markup in order to stand out on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Google has responded to the concerns about zero click searches in a blog post. They dismiss claims that they are effectively competing against other content publishers, explaining that they actually “send billions of clicks to websites everyday”. More specifically, they share that when it comes to local search, they ‘drive more than 4 billion connections for businesses every month’.

Featured Snippet Tips

For an anecdotal example to test the zero click phenomenon, I searched ‘how to create featured snippets’, and got these tips from Content Marketing Institute:

screenshot of zero click search results

Staying Ahead of Developments is Essential

As with all big tech developments, it is important to keep an eye on new developments. SEO is an ever changing game, and you need to keep up on the trends to stay ahead of the game.

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