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How Zero Click Searches Affect Your SEO campaign?

Digital Content



The phenomenon of no clicks during a search is increasingly growing and has a major impact on websites, as well as affecting revenue and potential customers.

So what exactly is Zero Click Searches? What leads to this situation, and what is the appropriate solution?

What are Zero Click Searches?

Zero-click searches are those in which the answer can be found without the user having to click on any more links—right from the search engine results page (SERP).

Google frequently offers these answers through tools like knowledge panels (an information box summarizing key details about the topic that you search), local packs, and featured snippets. For example, when you type in “current weather,” Google will show you the prediction right there in the SERP.

figure out zero click search meaning

Figure out Zero Click Search meaning

In a similar vein, a search for “how to tie a ribbon” might return detailed instructions or a video tutorial directly on the results page, saving consumers from having to leave the search results page to find the information they require.

Why Don’t They Click?

The right answer is presented right on SERPs
No click is needed because the answer needed has been presented on SERPs in a “box” which can be a featured snippet or rich answer (more on these later).
There are 3 types of queries that have more chances to enjoy this convenience.

First, the “how to” type.
When you inquire Google about how to do something (as long as it’s common enough), there will be step-by-step tutorials or how-to videos right on SERPs.

Second, the “fact” type.
For example, the query “world population” will be returned with a graph over years, maybe even a table or Wikipedia definition.

Third, the “local business details” type.
As long as that business does well in local SEO, you will see their address (and a Google Maps link), phone number, operating hours, social media profile, etc. in Google Knowledge Graph/Panel.

In some cases, “searches” also mean result pages or SERPs. So if one SERP doesn’t have any click, it can also be referred to as a zero click search.

Opportunity or Challenge?

Zero Click Searches are proof of Google’s users experience improvement efforts. In fact, users now spend less and less effort in searching because Google has been trying hard to present the most relevant content right on SERPs.

No result meets the searcher’s intent. This may result from a too general query such as “closet”, making it hard for the search engine to understand your intent.

So, it’s very likely that searchers will have to try again with a more specific query, such as “closet design” or “closet store near me”, and the previous try has been recorded as a zero click search.
The searcher’s click leads them to a mobile app.

This is often the case if you’re using mobile devices to search for things to shop or streaming services. You will be directed to a social media, marketplace app or Netflix and the like. As long as the click doesn’t lead to a site, it is considered a “zero click” search on Google.

Many believe Zero Click Searches have a negative impact on SEO and PPC campaigns. However, though traffic is indeed reduced, Zero Click Searches can actually boost your site’s authority.

What is the impact of Zero Click Search on Search, PPC, and SEO strategies? 

Although there is a higher possibility of appearing on the first page of SERPs and helping more people better identify your website and brand. However, this is also the negative side that negatively impacts the SEO community, when the number of people searching without clicking on the link.

According to Semrush’s report, by 2023 the number of Zero Click Searches on desktop accounts for 25.6% and on mobile devices accounts for 17.3%.

zero click search affects you seo strategies

Zero Click Search can negatively affect you SEO strategies

Similar to PPC, as competition for clicks increases among advertisers, bidding on ads also increases. Impacts campaign budgets and reduces campaign ROI.

Additionally, it reduces the number of clicks (CTR) on PPC, because they can get answers immediately from search results.

Different Zero-Click Searches types

The improvement of search engines enables users to get answers instantly without having to click on any website. Forms that produce direct results are displayed in the following forms.

Featured Snippet

Here we will focus on the first reason people don’t click: Because the answer is presented directly on SERPs. And what businesses are competing for is not “Position One” on SERPs anymore. It is “Position Zero” – the place that belongs to the famous featured snippets.

A featured snippet provides a short description extracted from the content (in paragraph form, list form, table form, or video form) of a website containing keywords or sentences that the user is looking for. Smart features help users get the information they need without having to click on any article to see details.

Research on Google featured snippets has found that 19% of queries on Google have a featured snippet.

And when it comes to mobile screens, a featured snippet tends to take up at least half of it, which means an even stronger competitive advantage for brands that make it. As more and more users perform searches on mobile devices, the competition for Position Zero becomes more and more fierce.

featured snippet can result a zero click search

Featured Snippet can result in a Zero-click Search

CAUTION! Your featured snippets can be removed.
Do you know that there are policies for featured snippets on Google? And users can provide direct feedback too.
So don’t get complacent. The tide can turn unfavorably for you if you let your guard down.
Also, if your site provides more than one featured snippet and just one violates the rules, your whole site may be disqualified for Position Zero.
BONUS: How about Rich Answer?
Rich answers are Google’s attempts to provide quick and factual answers without credit to any website because those are considered a part of public domain.
Be noted that some categorizes featured snippets as a type of rich answer.

Knowledge Panel

A table that appears next to Google search results provides overview information about a specific topic, individual, business, or location. The table was created based on reliable information sources such as Wikipedia, official websites, etc.

This not only improves the user experience but also helps increase the presence and reputation of the entities listed in this table.

knowledge panel

What is a Knowledge Panel?


People Also Ask (PPA) is another special Google feature that appears as a box in the middle, top, or bottom of the page. Contains questions related to the original query you searched for.

When a user clicks on one of the questions, it expands to reveal a brief answer, usually extracted from a relevant web page, along with a link to that page for more detailed information.

ppa is another reasons might lead to no click

PPA is another reasons might lead to no click

Direct Answer Box

With the Direct Answer Box, you will always get a specific, brief answer without any links. Allowing searchers to get the results they need, thus leading to Zero-Click Searches.

Local Pack

Local Pack hay Google Map Pack, that displays a group of local business listings relevant to the user’s search query.

The Local Pack includes a map showing the locations of the businesses, along with their names, ratings, addresses, and sometimes a brief description or additional contact information. This feature is especially useful for searches with local intent, such as finding nearby restaurants, stores, or services.

map pack provides the detailed information

Local Pack or Map Pack provides the detailed information

Strategies for adjusting Zero-Click Searches

What SEO strategies should be put in place to optimize Zero Click Searches? Take a look at the advice below.

Optimize right Keyword

Optimizing for terms that are more likely to result in Knowledge Panels, Featured Snippets, and other SERP features is essential to adjusting to Zero-Click Searches. Pay attention to question-based and long-tail keywords; these frequently correspond with the purpose of zero-click results.

effective ways to adapt zero-click searches

Effective ways to adapt Zero-click Searches

Perform in-depth keyword research to find terms that show up frequently in snippets and other major SERP features. These important keywords can be found with the aid of programs like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google’s Keyword Planner.

By focusing on these particular terms, you raise the likelihood that your content will appear first in the search results, gaining visibility without the need for clicks.

Optimize Content

Structure your content to directly answer common questions and provide clear, actionable information.

Use bullet points, numbers lists, and well-defined headers to make it easier for search engines to extract relevant snippets.

To increase the likelihood that Google will choose your content for a Knowledge Panel, PAA boxes or Featured Snippet, make sure it is authoritative and well-researched. To maintain your material current, relevant, and in line with user wants and search trends, you should also update it on a regular basis.

optimize your content

Optimize your content

On Page SEO

Now that you have a list of keywords with Zero-Click features, it’s time to optimize your existing and future pages. It means you need to optimize every On Page SEO elements which includes:

  • HTML tags: Image alt text, schema markup, etc.
  • Internal links
  • Site speed, especially if you use many visual content
  • UX/navigation: Make it the most pleasant to the eye, easy to read and look for information

Using Schema markup

Schema markup is a type of structured data that helps search engines understand the context and meaning of your content more effectively.

Reviews, ratings, events, and other details about your content can be added to your web pages by using schema markup.

Apply the proper schema to your content using tools such as Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, and make sure it’s applied correctly by running it through the Rich Results Test tool.

Final thoughts

Zero Click Searches are a growing phenomenon in the digital landscape, fundamentally altering the way users interact with search engines. These searches provide immediate answers directly on the search results page, eliminating the need for users to click through to a website.

While this trend enhances user experience by delivering instant information, it poses significant challenges for SEO strategies. Businesses and SEO professionals must adapt by optimizing for the right keywords, crafting high-quality and concise content, and utilizing schema markup to improve visibility in these zero-click environments.

Understanding and effectively responding to Zero Click Searches is essential for maintaining and enhancing online visibility in an increasingly competitive digital marketplace.

Is your business looking for a comprehensive SEO solution? On Digitals is pleased to be your partner, helping your business improve rankings, increase website organic traffic, and convert sales. Contact us today for detailed advice.

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