65% of searches ended without clicking in 2020

65% of searches ended without clicking in 2020


The results page of Google it is becoming more complex and offers more information to users. Until a few years ago, the only options were to click on an organic search result or a paid ad. But now, clickless searches are in the majority.

In non-click or “zero click” searches, as the name suggests, the user finds the information they are looking for in Google’s own SERP and is satisfied without visiting any page. Let’s see what the data says about this trend.

Google 65 of searches ended without clicking in 2020

The latest data on Google searches

According SimilarWeb, between January and December 2020 the 64,82% of searches on Google (including both computers and mobile devices) ended up on the search results page itself, without entering any other website.

Google 65 percent of searches ended without clicking in 2020

Image: SparkToro

It is necessary to clarify that, although we normally refer to this type of search as “zero click”, it is possible that the user has clicked within the Google results page, for example, to play a sound or call a phone number that appears on Maps.

It is interesting to note that a similar study conducted by Jumpshot in 2019 indicated that 50.33% of Google searches ended without clicks, so we see a very clear increase in this trend.

For the 2020 study, SimilarWeb analyzed more than 5 billion searches on Google. Of these, 33.59% clicked on an organic result, 1.59% clicked on a paid ad, and the rest stayed on the results page.

It is also very interesting to note that there are very clear differences between the behavior of users on computers and mobile devices:

  • On computers, organic results are predominant, since 50.75% of searches end with clicks on them, while only 46.48% are zero clicks. Paid ads account for 2.78% of the searches analyzed.

  • Whereas in mobiles clickless searches clearly dominate, reaching 77.22%. Click-through searches on organic results are 21.99% and paid ads are far less successful, with only 0.79% of searches ending with a click.

These data suggest that Google is further consolidating its dominance of the online search industry. In 2020, this search engine accounted for 91% of the market share of the online search sector worldwide. In the United States, Google controls 95% of search engine advertising and more than 50% of display ads.

In addition, Google has set out to replace cookie-based advertising with its own system for aggregating user behavior, called FLoC. This would give them exclusive access to a ton of information about users, helping to consolidate their dominance of the advertising industry on the internet.

Zero position and zero click searches in Google

This popularity of zero-click searches stems from the radical changes that Google has made to its results page in recent years.

The most prominent of these is the appearance of the “zero position” or featured snippet, a result that shows an extract of the information searched, the title of the page where it is found, a URL and sometimes an image. This result appears above all organic results and in many cases it is enough to answer the user’s query, making it unnecessary to visit more pages.

The featured snippet information is displayed in three different formats:

  • Paragraph type: is the majority, since according to MOZ 81% of the results in position zero are in this format. It usually appears when the user has entered a question in the search engine.

  • Table type– It appears in 12% of searches and organizes the information in such a way that it is easy to compare different options with each other. It is very common when the user’s query includes the word “which”.

  • List type: in 7% of the remaining cases. It is more common when the search query includes the words “has” or “how”.

But featured snippets aren’t the only new element on Google’s results page. In recent years, a large number of elements have been introduced that contribute to changing users’ search habits, such as:

  • The knowledge panel. Another format that contributes to searches without a visit on Google, since it is a kind of tab that summarizes the most important information about a query and presents it in a column to the right of the results. In this way, the user can be informed without visiting any other page.

  • The results of Shopping. Shopping results are actually paid ads from Google Ads, showing a product of interest to the user accompanied by images, prices, reviews, and other elements. With this, Google seeks to increase the conversion rate.

  • The videos. 62% of Google search results include thumbnail video results, mostly from YouTube. In this way, Google continues to encourage the user to stay in channels it controls.

  • Local information. In searches related to local businesses, information is displayed directly through Google Maps to encourage visits to physical business locations.

  • The reviews. Google’s results page typically includes reviews for searches related to products, software, hotels, restaurants, recipes, and other related content. Reviews are displayed between the page URL and the description and show the average score and the number of votes.

  • Links from the site. Google no longer only includes a single description and link for each search result, but in some cases displays additional pages from the same site with their corresponding links. This makes the result take up more space on your page and increases visibility.

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