What Are Zero Click Searches And How Are They Important?

A zero click search arises when an answer to the user’s question is displayed right at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

In the previous post, I talked about PPC or SEO: Which is better for a business in 2021?. In this blog post, I will talk about zero click searches in Google.

What are zero click searches

Are you aware that approximately 50 percent of Google searches don’t end up in a click either on a paid advertisement or an organic search result? Welcome to the world of zero-click searches.

So what is a zero search click? When a user searches for some keywords on the search engine and the top search result itself displays the answer to the query in the form of a simple snippet, the user does not have to click on any link or leave the search engine results page (SERP) to get the required answer.

This saves a lot of time for the user and at the same time improves Google’s user experience by keeping the user on Google’s page rather than sending them to a third-party website. 

Are the zero-click searches useful for business owners who are trying to drive more traffic to their websites? If a user does not go past the search engine results page (SERP), how useful it is for the business?

In the year 2020, almost 65% of Google searches ended up being zero-click searches while 34% were organic searches. It was also observed that 46.5% of desktop searches were zero-click as compared to 77.2% of mobile search queries.

What is Zero Click Searches?

As discussed above a zero-click search arises when an answer to the user’s question is displayed right at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) so that the user won’t require any further information that can be obtained by clicking the link.

Zero click searches are applicable to questions or queries which have simple answers. The answers to these queries are short and precise and can be obtained without having to visit the link of the website.  Six types of queries can result in zero-click searches:

  • Instant Answer

Google Instant Answer example

Questions for which an instant answer can be provided in short, the users don’t need to visit the website for the same unless they require more in-depth information on the topic.

Topics like some famous personality’s birthday or the capital of a state or language are spoken in a country etc. can be easily answered in few words. The answers are displayed at the top of the search results, so the user does not have to click on any link to look for the answer.

  • Definitions / Spellings

Google SERP Definitions / Spellings example

If a user is searching for the definition or spelling of a word, they can easily get it without having to click any link or visit any website.

  • Maps

Google search Maps pack example

If you are looking for information about a town or country or their location when you will enter the town or country’s name as a search query the first search engine result will most probably be a Google map.
  • Calculator/Conversions

Google Search Calculator / Conversions pack example

If you want to make some calculations or looking for some conversions for measurement purposes, Google can display a a calculator for you which can help make easy calculations or conversions.

If you want to know about the interest calculation or principal outstanding for your home loan, a calculator where you can type your variables will be displayed on the top of search results.

  • Knowledge Panel

Google Search Knowledge Panel example

The Knowledge panel is like an online business card. It is an information box that is displayed next to the search results. Google pools together information to provide a quick, but detailed look at what the user is looking for.

When you search for a brand, animal species, artists, etc. a knowledge panel is displayed on the right-hand top corner of the search results page. It contains basic information about the query and images if available.

  • Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are brief bits of text displayed on the screen to answer the user’s query. These snippets are called “Position Zero” or “Position #0” as they are positioned and displayed above the number 1 ranking link in SERPs. Featured snippets generally include:

  • A quote or definition from a particular website. It can also be a video in some cases
  • A link or URL to the specific page
  • Page title

In simple words, if your website or content from your website is chosen as the featured snippet, it can play wonders for your visibility and authority on the said topic.

What is the SEO strategy for Google zero-click searches?

Ranking on featured snippets can be beneficial for your business if you wish to improve brand awareness or to increase the inbound website traffic.

Below mentioned are few tips that can help in improving search engine optimize for position zero: 

  • Focus on question-based search queries: Keyword research will help in finding question-based keywords. Try to find out what type of questions or queries are asked by the audience. Focus on their questions and include answers or replies to their what, why, how, when, and who in your content.
  • Produce high-quality content: Google wants to provide its users with relevant, well-written and high quality content. For your content to rank on the zero-click search result it should be well researched and information-rich.
  • Work on the content structure: The way your content is structured plays an important role in determining whether your page or content will rank as a featured snippet. Always use header tags as they allow Google to index your content. Make the content easy to read and understand by dividing the content into smaller paragraphs and bullet points.
  • Use images: Featured snippets with images are attractive and eye-catching. Google prefers selecting content that is rich visually. Images help in making the content interesting and engaging. Ensure the images used on your website are high quality and have descriptive alt text.
  • Facts and Figures: Content that has relevant facts and figures are considered more relevant by Google. You can add comparison charts, graphics, statistics and other useful numbers in your content that can be valuable for the users.  
  • Include FAQs: Google ranks question keywords in their featured snippets, by adding a FAQ page on your website can be very helpful to rank on position zero.  

Why Search Engine Optimization and SERP Ranking are still important?

As seen above around 65% of Google searches are zero clicks, so should one worry about Search Engine Optimization and search engine ranking? Undeniably SEO is the key element of the digital marketing strategy and it is not replaceable.

According to AHREF, more than 90 percent of featured snippets and position zero results are taken from the web pages ranking on the first page of SERPS.

According to Google, the web pages ranked on the first page have the most relevant information for the user’s query. Therefore if you want your content to be featured in the snippet on position zero, it is important your page is ranked on page one and to rank on page one, you will need a strong SEO strategy.


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