Google on Wednesday refuted claims that “zero-click” searches are increasing on its Search, saying that the company is sending billions of clicks to websites every day and allowing more traffic to the open web every year since the company was first created.
Reports surfaced this week that majority of searches on Google end without someone clicking off to a website.
“People use Search to find a wide range of information, and billions of times per day, Google Search sends someone to a website. But not every query results in a click to a website, and there are a lot of very good reasons why,” said Danny Sullivan, Public Liaison for Search at Google.
According to him, people don’t always know how to word their queries when they begin searching.
They might start with a broad search, like “sneakers” and, after reviewing results, realize that they actually wanted to find “black sneakers.”
“In this case, these searches would be considered a ‘zero-click’ because the search didn’t result immediately in a click to a website,” Sullivan explained.
In the case of shopping for sneakers, it may take a few “zero-click” searches to get there, but if someone ultimately ends up on a retailer site and makes a purchase, “Google has delivered a qualified visitor to that site, less likely to bounce back dissatisfied”.
People also look for quick, factual information, like weather forecasts, sports scores, currency conversions, the time in different locations and more.
“As many search engines do, we provide this information directly on the results page, drawing from licensing agreements or tools we’ve developed,” the company noted.
On average, local results in Search drive more than 4 billion connections for businesses every month.
This includes more than 2 billion visits to websites as well as connections like phone calls, directions, ordering food and making reservations, the company informed.
“Each month, Google Search connects people with more than 120 million businesses that don’t have a website,” said the tech giant.
The company said that the search results page, which used to show 10 blue links, now shows an average of 26 links to websites on a single search results page on mobile.