Zero Click Searches

David Kusserow

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A Zero Click Search is a search query from a search engine that only asks for a small amount of information and can therefore be answered directly on the results page. This eliminates the need to click on a search result.

Definition

For the past few years, Google itself has been presenting answers to simple search queries at the top of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) using Rich Snippets, Knowledge Graphs, and other formats. A Zero Click Search is a query to the search engine that can be answered by such a result and thus does not result in a click on a search result.Since the introduction of Rich Snippets, Zero Click queries to Google have increased significantly. While this is a significant convenience gain for the user, it results in a decrease in organic traffic to websites.

Zero Click Search
Image credit: © lessnik – stock.adobe.com

This presents search engine optimization (SEO) with the challenge of designing the website to show up in the rich snippets.In the US, about 50% of all searches to Google are already zero click searches. This trend is more likely to increase in the next few years due to Fraggles – defined page content that search engines can display on SERPs. Increased use of mobile and voice searches are also driving an increase in zero click searches, as these often request simple, informational content.

Why does Google promote Zero Click Searches?

By supporting formats that allow zero click queries to be answered on the SERPs, Google hopes to further increase the popularity of the search engine. When you know that with Google you don’t even have to go to another page to get an answer to your query, you learn to appreciate the convenience gain and use the search engine more often. In addition, Google – just like other website operators – is interested in keeping its users on its own site for as long as possible and thus reducing its own bounce rate.

Due to the increasing use of smartphones, short search queries that only request simple information are on the rise. This is where the great strength of rich snippets lies, as they can quickly display answers to such queries. Also, more and more people are using voice search on Android devices, often with zero click queries as well. Google would also like to be able to respond to these effectively with an appropriate answer – in order to be able to deliver the answer to its customers’ search query as quickly as possible.

What do Zero Click requests mean for SEO?

While Google’s quick response to zero click queries is a significant convenience gain for the search engine and for users, this development presents website operators with the challenge that traffic via Google is declining. At the same time, traffic from the market-dominating search engine Google is vital for many sites. Whose page is not found on Google, is simply non-existent on the Internet – which no business, company or institution can afford.

As a result, OnPage and OffPage exponents continue to look for measures to ensure that Google considers one’s website to answer Zero Click Searches. This is a clear quality indicator for your own website and can increase its reach.

Furthermore, it is critical that Google uses the content of the web pages, but the visitors do not visit the web page – thus Google uses the added value of the page for itself, while the operator himself goes away empty-handed.

One important way SEOs can combat the trend of zero click searches is to continually optimize their site for mobile. More and more queries to Google are being made via mobile devices. This makes it increasingly important for the site to be user-friendly for mobile users and, with appropriate optimization, to be presented high up in Google’s mobile SERPs.

Conclusion

Zero Click Searches will continue to increase in the future and Google will continue to try to answer them directly on the SERPs. Website owners need to respond to this trend with appropriate mobile and voice SEO to continue to be as prominently visible on Google as possible. Competition here will get tougher as increasingly for informational searches, “The Winner takes it all.”

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