Zero-Click Searches – The Importance of Visibility

A Zero-Click search is when a user performs a search on Google but doesn’t click on any results. Instead, the user browses the search engine results page (SERP) to find bits of information they could use to answer their query. According to a study done by Jumpshot, about 61% of all desktop Google Searches did not result in a click. The figure is a lot lower on mobile at 34.4%.

Zero-Click Searches in SEO

There are several reasons why a user could only want titbits of information rather than a full webpage on a particular topic. For example, they could be seeking:

  • Ratings of a product such as a book or an online casino
  • Location of a certain restaurant
  • Opening hours of a particular pharmacy etc.

In some cases, questions requiring a fuller answer are still accessible via featured snippets, Google My Business, knowledge panels and more.

In short, zero-click searches are a result of Google’s constant changes that are aimed at better user experience. The “world’s greatest search engine” is essentially trying to help users find the best and most relevant answers without having to click onto any website. This is especially true for mobile users who already have limited features due to a smaller size screen.

This sucks for SEO, right? Not necessarily.

What Do Zero-Click Search Results Mean for SEO?

SEO practitioners can think of Zero-click searches as the billboard adverts of the internet.

SEO for Zero-Click Searches

They let users know about the information you have on your site in brief in order to give users quick, short and precise answers. Should a user require further details, the onus is on you to give them a reason to click on YOUR site over your competitors’. This not-so-new development in Google allows your content to be seen by potential users.

Remember that while the Jumpstart study showed that 61% of users are not clicking through to websites, it also tells you that 39% are. Your goal now is to work on users clicking on your website from the SERP.

Pros and Cons of Zero Click Search Results

Every time Google has a new improvement, there are both negative and positive effects on SEO. Each site is unique and will see different results, be it increased or decreased traffic and impressions or overall conversions.

Here is a short list of pros and cons:


  • It lets users know what’s on your site before they could click-through.
  • Impressions on any given webpage give you an idea of what queries you’re being seen on Google for.
  • Informs your decisions if you are trying to rank for voice searches


  • Being featured on position zero doesn’t always mean you will always get the most clicks. A 2017 study by AHRefs indicated that pages that got featured snippets (previously position zero) received about 8.6% of clicks for a query. The results right underneath the snippet got on average 19.6% of clicks.

What Now?

There’s no reason to lose sleep over zero click searches. The business of SEO is “adapt or die” and there will always be new things to look out for.

Here are a few things you can do for now to improve your website for no click searches:

  1. Adopt a “Potential Traffic” mind-set when optimizing or writing your content.
  2. Focus on maximising CTR by researching what queries users are looking for in your content.
  3. Try to answer queries as briefly as possible. This also improves your position in voice searches.
    • “What is” queries normally require a definition.
    • “How to” questions on the other hand would need a step-by-step guide

The most important thing you could ever do as a search engine optimizer is to constantly do research. Find out new trends, test out new ideas and remain adaptable.