Study Finds More Than 50% of Google searches End Without a Click

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Study Finds that More Than 50% of Google searches End Without a Click Through to Other Content

This new article from Search Engine Land reports on a study carried out by Rand Fishkin, founder of SparkToro. Apparently, zero-click searches just went through the 50% barrier, and he predicts that the rate isn't going to drop.
"Zero-click searches .... have been on a steady rise for years, and I don't expect that to reverse or plateau anytime soon,"
he said about the findings of his Google clickstream data study, published on Tuesday. New data provided by Jumpshot confirmed that back in June, for the first time, most Google searches (50.33%) ended without a click through to an organic or paid search result.



Fishkin's first study, carried out in summer, found that the trend is upward. 49% of searches in the first three months of this year were zero-click, and that was up from 43.9% in 2016's first quarter. The study found that most zero-click searching happens on mobile devices - and that's where searching is carried out most.

This latest update extends to the second quarter of 2019, where the zero-click rate was 49.76%. By June, the rate had passed the 50% mark. What that means is most Google searches ended on the results page.

What's more, the study estimates 94% of all US searches happen on a Google property - think Images, YouTube, and Google Maps. Fishkin says, "That makes Google a clear monopoly in search." Fishkin is due to discuss these trends in a keynote speech at SMX East in New York City this November.

It seems that even though more Google searches now end without a click through to paid or organic content, Google continues to send a steady number of searchers to other Alphabet-owned concerns.

What Does 50%+ Zero-Click Mean for SEO and Paid Search?

Fishkin thinks that the future of paid search is in the hands of Google. "I think paid search CTR will probably decline over the next few months," he told Search Engine Land. "That's because historically, each time Google changes how paid ads appear in the search results (like the late May shift to the black 'Ad' labels in mobile SERPs), ad CTR rises, then slowly declines as more searchers get familiar with the ad format and develop ad blindness."

"As searchers get wise to paid ads, we may see more clicks to organic results," said Fishkin, adding, "Google may also create new ways to get searchers to click on ads."

So, what do you guys think? Do zero-click searches mean zero opportunity? Fishkin makes a good point in this piece about how advertising was traditionally about awareness and sharing information about products and services. Is it time to get less obsessed with CTR?

Zero-click searching has been steadily rising, and now we're seeing a situation where marketing opportunities, based on traditional SEO objectives, are being limited. Do we need to take a new view on what we achieve from SERPs?

As Fishkin puts it, "Rich information appearing in Google's results may be, like billboard ads or press mentions, harder to track than website traffic, but it's still exposing your brand name to an audience, building familiarity, and sharing information. In my opinion, the brands that find ways to benefit from that type of SERP exposure, even without a click, will be the ones who win at this new form of on-SERP SEO."
#50% #click #end #finds #google #searches #study
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Depends on what your site is about. If you are selling eCommerce products, for instance, you really don't have to worry about a study like this. Nobody is searching for products who doesn't click on something - an ad for it or an organic listing.

    If yours is an informational site, for sure, Google's Answer Box has hurt your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    It depends on the niche as Dave said.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peachy Essay
    Yes. Many people search on Google on daily basis. It doesn't necessarily leads to a website. You can get your answer by just looking at the search result.
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    I use google as a calculator. A good number of my searches are for

    how much is 26/145 and such questions... Which I do because I can speak to Google my questions while I'm driving.


    Not sure 50% of searches not leading to clicks is a 50%-commensurate loss for anyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Depends on I suppose what you want your user to do! Part of the challenge or job I should say is to optimize the content for the related action you want the people on the page to take! I just started using heat maps to see where my users are spending most of their time and its pretty cool to see how moving content or images around can steer the direction of your users.
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    I support the idea that the niche matters a lot. Also, what you want the visitor to do on the site is key. So there is no need to worry about the findings of the research.
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  • Profile picture of the author thongim
    Often Google displays the answer to a question.
    It takes such answers on the websites pages. As a result the user doesn't visit the site.
    I think this is a copyright violation.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    This is why you want to build a tribe of humans organically, by being generous. Tribes click on your links, visits blogs, buy stuff and hire you. Google has always been a fickle beast which is why I never intended to drive search. But, whatever floats your boat, I say.
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  • Profile picture of the author DianaChan
    I think that is happening for the time when search engines come to play. When I search for complicated questions then I don't find a proper result.
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  • Profile picture of the author CherryMiss
    Nowadays many brands try to get a rich snippet that could be difficult. And also it changes very quickly: on Friday I had a rich snippet on the one of my top keywords, today I don't have it. The positive news is that there is still a lot of niches and needs when you need to click and open website.
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  • Profile picture of the author jerry russell
    Its time to change niche. This study reveals that the article based niche which has rich snippets would go without any clicks but product base sites have nothing to worry about at least for a few more months until google founds a horrible solution to that too! Anyways even if you're selling any products the click usually goes to the ads displayed on top by google for that product.
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  • Profile picture of the author KylieSweet
    I also noticed with the comparison of my website's clicks from May 2019 to June 2019 and the decreased in clicks was from 50 to 100+ percent mostly from June 1 to June 15. Now that i confirm every scenario on what's really happening in Google results. Ranking organically in Google is the safest and effective way to secure your brand's reputation to the users.
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