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Google Calls Controversial Zero-Click Search Data ‘Misleading’ The Search Engine Has Responded To A Report Suggesting That Only A Third Of Searches End In A Click

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News

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.

READ MORE: Two thirds of Google searches end with no click, research shows

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.”

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Google’s Spam Update Has Rolled Out

10/25/2022

Last week, Google announced the October 2022 Spam Update would be rolling out. The update began on October 19th but it took less than 48 hours to complete, Search Engine Land reports. Users didn’t expect such a quick turnaround from a spam update but here we are.

What Is The Update & How Does It Work?

Google’s October 2022 Spam Update is a new search ranking algorithm. This means its impacts will be visible in search results, however you might be impacted too. This spam update was global and affects all languages, Search Engine Land reports.

Google expected the spam update to take up to a week to rollout but it was quicker than most expected. Users can see on Google’s Search Ranking Updates page where the updated was added and listed as complete on October 21st. Google’s spam update is meant to attack harmful stolen content or malicious websites.

Read More: Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update

Here is what Google says about the October 2022 Spam Update:

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates. For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time-to-time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.”

Previous Spam Updates

As Google mentions their AI-based spam prevention system, you might be wondering how many spam updates there have been before. And more importantly, what to do if you’re sit has been hit.

When you have a look at Google’s Search Ranking Updates page, users can see that 2021 was a big year for spam updates. The last one rolled out in November 2021 and before that there was a two part update in July.

Read More: Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam

What Do Users Think About The Update?

Now, you might be wondering what people are saying about the October 2022 Spam update and if many users have been impacted. Here’s what SEO expert Glenn Gabe says about the update and what impacts he sees.

Search Engine Land reports on what users can expect from this update’s impacts.

“Spam updates target specific guideline violations. Google did not say if this was links, content or other forms of spam, but rather just said it is spam-related in general,” says Barry Schwartz. With such a wide gap between spam updates, users could be waiting another year before Google runs one again.

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Smart Campaigns Will Be Gone For Good Soon

07/22/2022

Google began rolling out automatic updates to convert Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max – Search Engine Land reports.

For most users, the updates will finish rolling out in two months. They will receive a notification around 2 or 3 weeks before the updates take effect. They will also be notified of the specific date when the campaigns will be converted. However, some Smart Shopping campaigns, like the ones using vehicle ads, will be completed early next year.

Read More: Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns

Don’t Wait For Google

You don’t have to wait for Google to do this for you. Actually, you shouldn’t – take this into your own hands and have more control over the settings of your campaigns.

If you want to update campaigns on your own, because you’re smart, strong, and pretty – you can do that by using the ‘one click’ upgrade tool.

Whether your campaigns are automatically- or self-upgraded with the tool, all the history and learnings from your previous Smart Shopping Campaigns, along with its settings are automatically transferred over to your new Performance Max campaigns.

Read More: Google Performance Max Getting 7 New Updates

New Ad Creation Tools

Google also launched three new ad creation tools which could help drive better results, especially on YouTube:

  • Asset Storage
  • Video Ad Templates
  • Voice-over Audio

These new tools should help advertising teams out there create and collaborate on campaigns without leaving the ads platform.

Read More: Discovery Ad Users Get Four New Features

Read More: Data-driven Attribution Becomes The Default?

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