What Is a Zero Click Search?

Zero click searches are when an answer to a search query is displayed at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) so that the user doesn’t have to click further into a website to complete the search. Currently, more than 50% of Google searches end without an organic click (SearchEngine Journal). There are a lot of possible search queries that can be displayed in the search results that do not require any further information. For example “what was the score of the super bowl this year?” The intent behind that search is essentially learning who won the game and seeing the end score.


Zero-click searches are common on mobile and voice searches because users are usually looking for short answers to specific questions. Additional examples of zero click searches include:

  • Featured Snippets (Articles, Blogs)
  • Google Answer Box
  • Flight data
  • Sports scores
  • Recipes
  • Step-by-step directions for “how to” search queries


Why Is This Important?

With Google BERT – Google’s technique for natural-language processing pre-training – the search engine is able to better understand user searches and focus more on a user’s intent behind a search. For example, the intent behind the search query “porsche boxster” is different from the intent behind the query “porsche dealership near me.” The second searcher is more of an in-market buyer or someone who is actively looking for a car and has an idea of the type of car they want. As Google continues to roll out more Core Updates, it continues to focus more on providing users with the best possible search results for their queries, and brands will have to keep up. 


What Should We Do?

We need to shift our focus from rankings and focus more on opportunities to get in front of customers. A great way to do this is by discovering opportunities for featured snippets which help to take up more real estate on the search engine results page while also being beneficial to the user. How can we do this?

  • Identify queries that users are searching for and answering those questions with FAQs, website content, and dedicated blog posts.
  • Targeting long-tail keywords.
  • Thinking about where the user is in the buyer’s journey and how the content we write will help push them further down the funnel.
  • Not every piece of content on your website is going to be beneficial for every single person. Instead, focus on writing different pieces of content with different users and user intent in mind.
  • Looking at top SERP results and developing better quality content that addresses a users query. 
  • Utilizing structured data markup and Google’s rich results testing tool. 
  • Thinking about what the customer experience is from the searcher’s perspective.
  • Focus on providing better UX so that Google will reward your site with better search visibility. 


It’s Time For A Shift 

At the end of the day search is all about the user, and Google’s main goal is to show users the best search results for whatever they are looking for. Are you producing content that is helpful to a user that is looking for information about your products or services? Is your Google My Business profile and other major listings optimized with relevant, accurate information? Does your website have call-to-actions that drive the user to take different actions depending on where they are in the customer journey? Perhaps it’s time for us to stop focusing on how to best sell the user and start focusing on how the user wants to be sold. When it comes down to it – the customer is always right, right?