Is Google exploiting its position or losing its way?

Less than Half of Google Searches Now Result in a Click is an article by Rand Fishkin on Sparktoro which ought to make most web users stop and think. “We’ve passed a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden”, says the author. “In June of 2019, for the first time, a majority of all browser-based searches on Google.com resulted in zero-clicks.”

What does this mean? It means that people using Google are getting what they need without moving on to another website – or perhaps are not getting what they need at all. In either case, zero clicks to other websites are generated. Far from being an index or contents page for the web, Google is successfully turning itself into a destination. In many cases this is being done by reproducing (some would say stealing) other websites’ information.

The article goes on to say: “What’s a smart marketer, entrepreneur, or web creator to do?” It suggests: “Find ways to get value from zero-click searches; seek out keywords whose results have higher CTR opportunity; get your content optimized on Google’s own properties (YouTube, Maps, Images, AMP, Knowledge Panels, etc.); and hope that the recently opened investigations into Google’s anti-competitive behaviour yield results”.

It’s worth a read.