It’s no surprise that we have reached this inevitable milestone in the Google journey.
From inception, the platform has aimed to keep us within Google products, under the guise of getting us the ‘information as fast as possible’. Even when questioned in Congress, Google refused to openly admit that this was their strategy, to reign supreme and have Google’s focus be more commercially-led than service-led.
In July this year, we finally hit a point where the over half of Google’s browser-based searches resulted in zero clicks.
NB: this is considering US-only data, but the trend is very real.
Google is now sending a huge proportion of traffic to their own properties; including YouTube, Maps, Google subdomains etc.
And they’re winning big. As you can see, Google and their properties own 94% of the market share, meaning you are pretty much guaranteed to engage with Google and Google alone.
This has been steadily happening under the radar since 2016, but has finally crossed over the threshold to undeniably being a tactic Google are deploying. Below, you can see the decline in organic CTR (click-through rate) and the steady incline of paid CTR and zero-click searches (in essence, Google-housed knowledge).
As Google’s ongoing attempts to answer more searches without a click to any results continues to grow, this places further emphasis on the answer text that is within the search results as a feature snippet (Knowledge Graph, instant answer-type and other features snippets).
This spells big things for voice search and mobile, where users quickly look at the instant answer or by Google’s own properties e.g. PPC search or Youtube.
So what does this mean?
In essence, Google wants you to do more paid activity, or be a part of the structured answers which means relying on a decent SEO strategy.
We need to find ways to get value in zero-click searches, optimising for Google products and look for keywords that have higher CTR opportunity.
We’re not in a place to discount traffic to sites completely, Google wouldn’t be allowed to make that a reality, but they are certainly placing a much higher bias towards PPC and their own products.
Still unsure of what to do? Our specialists can help you, contact us today to ensure you have the right strategy in place.
All data provided by Sparktoro & Jumpshot.