According to SparkToro, in 2020, 2 out of 3 searches on Google ended up getting information from a search engine without going to the corresponding site.
This is the so-called zero-click request. The user enters into the search engine a question like “When was Steve Jobs born?” or “Where can I buy wine nearby?” and immediately receives an answer through the “sorcerer” Google. The user does not need to open the site in the search results and look for information already on it, which is fraught with the loss of traffic for the resource.
Now 64.82% of requests fall into the zero-click category. Of these, 46.5% are on computers and 77.2% on mobile devices. The bias towards smartphones is associated with the popularity of voice search (and Google voice response, respectively). People don’t even need to open an app to get an answer. In 2019, the number of zero-click requests was 50.33%.
However, Google considers SparkToro’s claim to be flawed and claims to be doing much more for search than it might seem after reading analysts’ findings.
“SparkToro’s claim is based on flawed methodology and misunderstanding of how search works. In fact, the Google search engine sends billions of clicks to sites every day. We have been sending more and more traffic to the open network from year to year since the company was founded. Moreover, we not only drive traffic to other sites, but also help businesses find their audience in other ways. Through calls directly from a search engine, for example, ”answered Google representatives.
Danny Sullivan of Google also noted that there are more reasons for zero-click queries than SparkToro mentioned.
People can reformulate the request without opening the pages because they found a mistake in it or realized that it was not suitable for the current situation.
People are looking for some basic facts or calculations. For example, “how much is 2 + 2” or “the dollar / euro rate”.
People get in touch with companies directly, ignoring the landing page. In this case, the business loses some of its traffic, but still gets a client.
Also, sometimes people go directly to the application without getting to the site.
The audience is divided, but most accept Google’s arguments as valid and more relevant than SparkToro’s.
Also worth noting is the overall growth in traffic to Google and the huge audience that generates more and more clicks every day. Researchers at SparkToro acknowledge this fact, although they find the general trend intimidating.