When the web grows, Google grows along with it. But that doesn't necessarily mean Google is benefiting from the internet's increasing size.
According to a research, Rand Fishkin, founder of SparkToro said that for the first time, the majority of Google searches (50.33%) ended without a click on both organic or paid search result.
This is an update to his previous research, which suggested that 49% of searches in the first quarter of 2019 were zero-click, up from 43.9% in the first quarter of 2016.
Relying on previous data from Jumpshot, Fishkin also noted that the majority of zero-click and paid search growth happened on mobile, where overall search volume is highest, saying that:
"Zero-click searches …. have been on a steady rise for years, and I don’t expect that to reverse or plateau anytime soon."
Gathering data from his Google clickstream data study which analyzes Google searches, Fishkin said that more than 50% of users searchers ended right on the search results page, without the user clicking through to any of the results.
But despite that, the company that owns most of the internet's web searches, managed to spread a relatively consistent portion of the searches to other Alphabet-owned properties, including YouTube and Maps.
And when considering paid search, Fishkin said that:
Since more searches end up without users clicking through to a page, the less traffic and fewer marketing opportunities brands and publishers are having to develop their own audiences.
As a result, CTR are getting lesser notice, with people expecting to see more clicks from organic results, Fishkin continued.
But then again, Google's business that rely on paid ads may force the company to create new ways to get searchers to click on ads.
What should be noted here is that, zero-click searches don't necessarily mean zero opportunity.
"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."