Google made some of its biggest search algorithm updates ever over the last year, specifically to make online answers easier for searchers to find. New Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) functionality like featured snippets now appear in results for more than half of all searches. These features are often referred to as zero click searches, which means a user’s query is answered on the SERP itself, without having to click anywhere.
A zero click search is a search wherein the user is not required to click on a search result to find their answer or desired information. Zero click search results replace the need for users to click through to a website, instead showcasing the information they seek directly on the search engine results pages. Zero click searches (also known as “rank zero snippet” and “position zero”) have been steadily growing in the past few years. Now, 34% of desktop searches and 62% of mobile searches result in a zero-click search.
You may not even realize you’re already utilizing Google’s zero click search results tools. Google released early iterations of this feature several years ago for items like weather results and definitions of words, where an answer is displayed atop search results. As this type of search result continues to grow more prominent, getting users to click through to your law firm website from SERPs will be harder than ever before. In fact, Wikipedia has lost 21% of its traffic since the launch of position zero.
Four Main Types of Zero Click Search Results
Featured Snippets are short selections of text appearing in a box at the top of Google search results. They essentially give the searcher information about their search while citing a website. The content appearing inside of a Featured Snippet is automatically pulled from previously indexed webpages. Featured Snippets commonly showcase information containing definitions, tables, steps, and lists. Google features a snippet of content it deems valuable enough to highlight as a quick overview to address the searcher’s issue.
23% of all search result pages include a featured snippet (representing an increase of 165% since 2016)! And, according to Search Engine Land, a Featured Snippet gets at least 8% of all clicks.
Below is a screen capture of the Featured Snippet result generated by a Google search for “what is case management software for law firms.”
Instant Answers or Quick Answers
Instant Answers or Quick Answers are solutions provided by Google that don’t link to an external website. These zero click search results are provided for simple questions and calculations like the weather or word definitions, as you can see below. While a user is still able to click through for more information, the majority of the time the searcher’s answer is provided immediately in the result; therefore, they won’t click.
Google’s Knowledge Graph was introduced in 2012 to provide more useful and relevant search results using semantic search techniques. It functions like a database, storing and retrieving facts and furnishing results with information gathered from a variety of digital sources. Knowledge Graph results appear on the right side of search results (outlined in red in the screen capture below) and contain additional information about your searched query.
Rich Snippets or Rich Results
In addition to featured snippets, as mentioned above, Google also started displaying rich snippets – also commonly referred to as rich results. These are designed to showcase additional information for each search result, again in an attempt to provide searchers with relevant data without having to click through to a website. In the first example shown below, rich results include both the definition directly in the search result text body as well as links to related pages of content across the bottom of the result. In the second example, upcoming concert dates and locations are provided directly in the result.
Law Firm Marketing Experts
Worried about how zero click search results will impact your law firm’s SEO? We can help you optimize your law firm website for zero click search results. To learn more about what Stacey E. Burke, P.C. can do to help your law firm kick off its new year successfully, contact us today.