Technical SEO

Zero Click Searches

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jul 4, 2023

Zero Click Searches

What are Zero-Click Searches?

Zero-click searches are search engine queries where the user is provided with an immediate answer on the search engine results page (SERP), without having to click through to any external websites

These can include information like weather forecasts, sports scores, dictionary definitions, and other factual information. 

Zero-click searches are becoming more common as search engines increasingly prioritize providing quick, concise answers to user queries.


Here are some examples of zero-click search results:

  • Weather: If a user searches for the weather in their city, they may see a quick answer with the current temperature and weather conditions directly on the SERP.

    Weather example of zero click search

  • Sports scores: If a user searches for a particular sports team or game, they may see a quick answer with the score and other relevant information directly on the SERP.

Sports score example of zero click search
  • Directions: If a user searches for directions to a specific location, they may see a Google Maps widget with the directions and estimated travel time directly on the SERP.

Directions example of zero click search
  • Currency conversion: If a user searches for a currency conversion, they may see a quick answer with the current exchange rate directly on the SERP.

Currency conversion example of zero click search
  • Definitions: If a user searches for a word or phrase, they may see a quick answer with the definition directly on the SERP.

Directions example of zero click search
  • Time zones: If a user searches for the time in a particular location, they may see a quick answer with the current time and time zone directly on the SERP.

Time zones example of zero click search
  • Flight Information: If a user searches for a particular flight, they may see a quick answer with the status, departure time, and gate information directly on the SERP.

Flight information example of zero click search

How do they appear?

They may appear in one of the following ways in the SERPs.

Featured snippets

A featured snippet is a summary of the answer to a user's query that appears at the top of the SERP.

It is designed to provide a quick answer to the user's question and often includes a link to the source of the information.

Featured snippet in zero click search

Knowledge panels

A knowledge panel is a box that appears on the right-hand side of the SERP with information about a specific entity, such as a person, place, or organization.

The panel can include a summary, images, and links to relevant sources.

Knowledge panel in zero click search

Quick answers

A quick answer is a concise response to a user's query that appears directly on the SERP. Quick answers can include things like definitions, conversions, and calculations.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps.

When a user searches for a business, the Google My Business listing can appear at the top of the SERP with information such as the address, phone number, and hours of operation.

Images and videos

When a user searches for an image or video, they can often view the media directly on the SERP, without having to click through to an external website.

Why do we have zero-click searches?

Improving user experience

One reason for the rise of zero-click search results is to improve the user experience. With the increasing amount of information available on the internet, users can easily become overwhelmed when searching for answers to their queries. 

Zero-click search results provide a quick and concise way to deliver relevant information to users, without requiring them to navigate to different websites or scroll through lengthy articles.

Additionally, zero-click search results can be particularly useful for mobile users, who may be more likely to be looking for quick answers on the go. 

By providing information directly on the SERP, search engines can improve the mobile user experience and make it easier for users to find the information they are looking for.

Google prefers its own stuff

Another factor that can contribute to zero-click search results is that Google, in particular, has been accused of prioritizing its own "assets" in the SERP. 

Google's own assets can include products such as Google Maps, Google Flights, and Google Shopping, which are featured prominently on the SERP and often receive a high number of clicks.

This can also contribute to zero-click search results, as users may be able to find the information they are looking for directly on the SERP, without clicking through to a third-party website.

Do zero-search results have drawbacks?

While zero-click searches can provide quick and convenient answers to user queries, they do have some drawbacks.

Reduced website traffic and CTR

Zero-click searches can limit the visibility and traffic of websites that would otherwise receive traffic from search engine results. This can be a significant disadvantage for businesses that rely on web traffic for revenue.

Consequently, zero-click searches can also have a negative impact on a website's click-through rate (CTR) from organic search results

When a user is able to find the information they are looking for directly on the SERP through a zero-click search result, they may not feel the need to click through to the website that provided the information. 

For example, if a user searches for "how to tie a tie" and sees a quick answer with step-by-step instructions directly on the SERP, they may not feel the need to click through to a website that also provides instructions.

This can result in a lower CTR for websites that provide this type of content.

Loss of context and detail

Zero-click searches can lead to a loss of context and detail. Users may not be getting the full picture or the most relevant information since they are only seeing a brief snippet of information.

Limited information for complex queries

Zero-click searches can be less informative for complex queries that require deeper research and analysis.

For example, a user searching for a medical condition may only see a basic definition on the search engine results page, while more detailed information may be available on specialized medical websites.

How are they beneficial?

Zero-click searches can be beneficial for both users and businesses in a number of ways. 

Here are some of the reasons why zero-click searches can be good:

Quick access to information

Zero-click search results provide users with quick access to the information they are looking for, without having to navigate through multiple websites or pages.

This can help users save time and find the answers they need more efficiently.

Improved user experience

By providing relevant information directly on the SERP, zero-click search results can help to improve the overall user experience.

This can increase user satisfaction and loyalty, which can ultimately benefit businesses in the long run.

Increased brand visibility

If a business is able to appear in a zero-click search result, this can increase its visibility and exposure to potential customers. This can help to build brand awareness and attract more traffic to their website.

Positioning as an authority

By providing high-quality, informative content that appears in zero-click search results, businesses can position themselves as authorities in their industry or niche.

This can help to build trust with users and establish the business as a go-to source for information.

Statistics on zero-click searches

Here are some statistics on zero-click searches:

In June 2019, Jumpshot - a clickstream analysis service - reported that over half of all Google searches ended without a click to other content. 

These accounted for 50.3% of all searches, a figure that had been rising steadily from 43.1% in early 2016 to 49% in early 2019.

Only 5.3% of all searches led to a click to organic content and 4.4% led to a click to a paid ad. The report indicated that zero-click searches were particularly high on mobile devices at 62%, with only 27.7% of mobile searches resulting in organic clicks.

This suggests that most searches now generate no traffic for websites outside of Google services.

However, the most recent study by SEMrush conducted in May 2022 tells us that 25.6% of all desktop searches are zero-click searches while this figure is 17.3% in the case of mobile searches.

The same study shows that on desktop 45.1% of searches are organic while on mobile, organic searches are 43.1%

Click-through searches or zero-click searches: which one is better?

Neither click-through nor zero-click searches are inherently better than the other as they both serve different purposes. 

Click-through searches can drive traffic to your website and potentially lead to conversions or revenue. 

On the other hand, zero-click searches can increase your visibility and brand recognition, and may also provide valuable information directly in the search results for users.

Depending on your priority, you can opt for either preventing them or optimizing for them.

How to optimize for zero-click searches?

If you want to gain more visibility and credibility for your brand, you have to optimize for zero-click searches.

Here are some tips to optimize for zero-click searches:

Optimize for featured snippets

Featured snippets are the most common type of zero-click search results, so optimizing for them can help you get more visibility.

To optimize for featured snippets, identify the questions your target audience is asking and provide clear and concise answers to those questions in your content.

Create structured data markup

Structured data markup can help Google better understand the content on your website and can increase your chances of appearing in a rich snippet.

Use schema markup to highlight key information such as product information, ratings, and reviews.

Use eye-catching titles and descriptions

Even if users don't click on your link, you can still capture their attention with an eye-catching title and meta description.

Use descriptive and compelling titles and descriptions that accurately reflect the content on your page.

Leverage local search features

If you have a local business, optimize your website for local search features such as Google My Business and local directories.

These features can help you appear in Google Maps and other local search results, which often feature zero-click search results.

Consider voice search

With the rise of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, optimizing for voice search can also help you appear in zero-click search results.

Voice search queries tend to be more conversational, so use natural language in your content.

In a nutshell, the best approach is to develop a balanced SEO strategy that considers both click-through and zero-click searches.

This means optimizing your website for featured snippets and other types of zero-click results while also ensuring that your website provides a good user experience and valuable content for those who do click through to your site. 


Zero-click searches have become increasingly common in recent years, with a significant portion of search queries resulting in no clicks to external websites.

While this can be detrimental to website traffic and SEO, there are ways to potentially benefit from zero-click searches.

It's also important to focus on improving the overall user experience on your website and building a strong brand presence to draw searchers in. 

By staying aware of the prevalence of zero-click searches and adapting your digital marketing strategies accordingly, you can potentially turn these searches into opportunities for engagement and growth.

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