Is Google's zero-click search a threat or opportunity for hoteliers?
Last year 64.82% of searches on Google ended up with zero “click-throughs” to websites, blogs, articles, etc., because Google provided all the answers a user would need on the search results page itself, making a click to the underlying content unnecessary (SimilarWeb/SparkToro). This was a significant increase from the 50% “zero-click searches” back in 2019.
The remainder of the searches on Google in 2020 resulted in organic click - throughs - 33.59% - and only 1.59% in paid click-throughs (Google Ads, Google Hotel Ads, Google Product Listing Ads).
This analysis is based on SimilarWeb data from about 5.1 trillion worldwide Google searches in 2020, and combined mobile and desktop devices, including iOS devices.
On the surface, zero-click search looks counterintuitive as it deprives Google, a $1.36 trillion public company, from much needed paid clicks and revenue. So why is Google allowing zero-click search to become the predominant result in the search engine results pages (SERPs)? On one hand, it is in line with Google’s core mission to provide answers - ultra-fast, relevant and straight to the point - to any question a human may have.
On the other hand, this shift is inevitable as the advance of mobile and voice assistants creates the need for immediate answers. All of this means that more and more information is being delivered in the form of relevant zero-click answers and summaries provided by Google via voice or right at the top of the SERPs.
Where does Google get the answers in its SERPs that provide users with sufficient information so that they do not click further, i.e., the search ends up with zero click-throughs? The answer is very simple: website content and content marketing.
So how can hoteliers benefit from Google’s new “zero-click” reality?