Over half of Google searches don't produce a single click: Is that good or bad? - ZDNet
Posted: 14 Aug 2019 06:50 AM PDT
A new analysis suggests that most Google searches today don't produce a single click through to other websites.
The analysis comes from Rand Fishkin, co-founder of large SEO platform Moz. Fishkin has used data from a company called JumpStart, which gets its web-browsing data from its owner, well-known antivirus vendor Avast.
Looking at browser searches from mobile and desktop in the US, Fishkin found that 50.33% of searches result in no click at all, while 42% of them result in an 'organic click', and 4.42% produce clicks on ads.
Fishkin ran the numbers in response to Google's answers to hearings for US Congress's investigation into competition in digital markets, which were announced ahead of the Department of Justice's antitrust probe into the US tech industry.
Google was asked in a letter dated July 23 whether less than 50% of mobile and desktop searches on Google search result in clicks to non-Google websites.
The question cited a blog posted by Fishkin in June, which showed over 60% of searches on mobile browsers resulted in no clicks, or 'zero-click searches'. Across mobile and desktop in June, zero-click searches represent 48% of the total.
Google's featured snippets, which scrape answers from third-party websites, help drive up zero-click searches and happen when people don't click through once they've found the answer to their search. Some argue they will help marketers with larger resources.
Google's answer to lawmakers highlighted that many website owners optimize their sites to appear as featured snippets, and that just because a snippet answers a question doesn't mean users don't click through. Sites can also opt out of featured snippets.
Fishkin also points out that about 12% of search clicks go to sites that Google owns such as YouTube and Google Maps.
And he argues the company completely dominates US search. While web-analytics company StatCounter puts Google's share of search in the US at 88%, Fishkin contends it's actually 94% once Google Images, YouTube, and Google Maps are included.
He also draws attention to the key difference between desktop and mobile, given that more than half of search today occurs on mobile browsers.
Combining mobile and desktop searches, the split between zero click, organic clicks, and ad clicks in January 2016 was about 44%, 54%, and 2%, respectively, compared with the current 50.33%, 42%, and 4.42%.
That change has been driven largely by mobile, with the share between each type of click on the desktop remaining relatively unchanged in three years.
By contrast, in January 2016 on mobile, zero clicks were 51%, organic clickthroughs were 44%, and ad clicks were 3%. Today, mobile zero clicks are 62%, organic clicks are 38%, and paid clicks are 11%.
Posted: 14 Aug 2019 02:42 AM PDT
Google Search is one of those things that has become generic and has an answer to almost every question. Google Search is used by millions of users across the world every day and they search for random things to important information. However, a report by The Next Web reveals that more than 50% of Google searches don't lead to clicks. The Next Web report quotes data by market analytics firm Jumpshot that arrived on this number based on 40 million searches done on mobile and desktop in the US.
The report reveals that as of June 2019, "50.3 percent of Google searches received zero clicks. By contrast, searches with organic clicks to non-Google websites now make up only 45 percent of all traffic."
The zero click trend, according to the report, has been around since 2016 and has been growing. Interestingly, a US Congressional panel had asked this question to the internet search giant but didn't receive a clear response. Google had then questioned the authenticity of the data but didn't really deny, states The Next Web report.
Google, on the other hand, has been the most popular search platform in the world by a considerable distance with close to 94% market share. The same report says that Google Search alone constitutes for 69.35% of browser searches in the world. 20.5% of searches take place in Google Images, followed by YouTube (2.98%) and Maps (0.75%) completing Google's dominance. Yahoo, Amazon, DuckDuckGo, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest comprise of the rest of the 6%.
Google Search survives and thrives on clicks and even with more than 50% of searches leading to zero clicks, the Mountain View-based tech giant continues to lead the market handsomely. However, as mentioned in the report, it's a trend that has been going on for the past three years now and shows no signs of slowing down.
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