A rich data set from analysis conducted by SparkToro.
Zero-click searches have steadily risen over the past three years, up from 12% in 2016 to 48.96% in 2019.
No click, or zero-click, searches are a search engine result page (SERP) that displays the answer to a user’s query at the top of a Google search result. This kind of search result satisfies the user’s intent without having to actually click on any search result links.
The data also showed that clickthroughs are increasingly bringing users to Google-owned sites.
“If you’re in a field Google has decided to enter, like travel, hotels, flights, lyrics, etc., the search giant is almost certainly cannibalizing your market and removing a ton of opportunity,” said Fishkin.Rand Fishkin, SparkToro founder
This is troubling for a number of reasons. First, it makes it harder for content creators as we see that Google is slowing building a walled garden in online spaces. We often find fault with Facebook for this, but Google is actively replicating this in the open.
Second, this is troubling for critical evaluation of online information. If “Google says it’s true” people will increasingly take it as fact and move on.