Google has defended itself against a report that suggests only a third of searches on the engine actually end in a click.
Last week, SparkToro published a report claiming that 64.82% of searches on Google could be described as ‘zero-click searches’ – in other words, the user does not click on any web property on the SERP.
SEOmoz CEO Rand Fishkin used a software called SimilarWeb to analyze nearly 5.1 trillion Google searches in 2020 to better understand how many searches actually ended in a click. He had performed a similar analysis in 2019, and found that the percentage of ‘zero-click searches’ had increased.
Fishkin’s report caused a minor uproar in the search community. Some shared concerns over the data, claiming that Google has been steadily monopolizing the web. Others criticized Fishkin’s report, saying that it doesn’t paint a full picture.
Google has fought back against claims of unfairness, calling Fishkin’s report “misleading.” Specifically, Google published a blog post titled “Google Search sends more traffic to the open web every year,” addressing the claims.
Written by Public Liasion for Search Danny Sullivan, the blog post argues that Google does not take clicks away from sites, but actually gives them more clicks.
“We send billions of visits to websites every day, and the traffic we’ve sent to the open web has increased every year since Google Search was first created,” he wrote.
Additionally, the post argues that a perspective is missing from the ongoing discussion: that not every user actually searches with the intention of clicking on something.
“People look for quick, factual information,” he wrote. “As many search engines do, we provide this information directly on the results page, drawing from licensing agreements or tools we’ve developed. These results are helpful for users, and part of our ongoing work to make Google Search better every day.”