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Zero-click searches account for more than 64% of Google queries

Photo of a young woman using a laptop.

The team at SparkToro do a lot of interesting and valuable market research. They recently shared some new trends they’ve observed on how users are engaging with search engine results.

Zero-click searches are a growing trend

Rand Fishkin, the CEO at SparkToro, shared that “From January to December, 2020, 64.82% of searches on Google (desktop and mobile combined) ended in the search results without clicking to another web property.”

These insights confirm what many have speculated. Which is, that consumers often find the answers they need directly within search results. This may include clicking the phone number for a local business. A prospective or returning customer might be looking to confirm store hours. Or they may just researching quick factoids.

What does this mean for SEO or lead generation?

This trend is good for Google, in particular for how they monetize their research results with paid advertising. Local businesses are a clear winner too. At least, if consumers are in fact checking hours for an in-person visit or calling for assistance.

For the content and knowledge workers, this may be a new challenge. Why would a consumer need to visit any site ranging from a niche blog to the New York Times if they can get the answers they are looking for directly in the search results. In this case, the advice to “make better and more valuable content” isn’t going to have an impact if you aren’t getting an impression or chance for a digital interaction or brand experience on your own website.

Will it be a “paid” media world after all?

This may result in an experience digital marketers currently see on Facebook. Which is, that to reach prospective custom with your message, you’ll have to purchase digital advertising.