#518 What Are Google Zero-Click Searches And Why Are They Important by Matthew Royse
Best SEO Podcast | EWR Digital
Video Transcript
speakerChris Burres·00:13

Hi and welcome to the SEO podcast. I know the secrets of internet marketing. My name is Chris Burres. I’m one of the owners here at EWR digital, 

speakerMatt Bertram·00:21

And my name is Matt Bertram. I am the lead strategist at EWR digital, and I have a new microphone. How do I sound? Do I sound better, Chris? 

speakerChris Burres·00:29

I think you sound better already. You could bring it a little bit closer. You sound better already. I’m excited. Cause we’ve been having some complaints. I mean, if you go back to the history of the podcast back to 2009, you know, are basically only complaint are some people don’t like how we have a good time and also entertain. So that’s out there. I feel like. 

speakerMatt Bertram·00:56

They want the data. They. 

speakerChris Burres·00:57

Want the data only, and others have complained about the audio in the past and believe me in the first a hundred episodes, the audit is kind of cool to say. And the first hundred episodes the at times the audio was certainly questionable. We had a couple of recent complaints and we’re constantly improving. So boom, Matt has a microphone off we go. And please remember we are broadcasting live in Houston, Texas, and we’re excited to be, are we results? Rebels still have reached. 

speakerMatt Bertram·01:26

I think that today we can be results rebels. 

speakerChris Burres·01:34

All right. So we’re going to cover an R O normally I would throw in a review here. We don’t have a review. So what we will throw in there is just maybe two ways that you can connect with us and leave us a review. We would really appreciate that. One of those ways is to go to AWR digital.com forward slash review. And then also you could do a video review. It’s kind of cool. It’s kind of hip. All the young kids are doing it. Now go to E wr digital.com forward slash video review. And that’ll take you to this amazing software called pro testimonial where you can leave us a video. And we would appreciate that. Now let’s jump in. We’re gonna talk about an article today. What are Google zero click searches and why are they important? 

speakerChris Burres·02:23

And I’m going to start with, if you’re, you know, in SEO and you’ve been around, and even if you haven’t heard the phrase zero click searches, I think you can figure out what they are, but we’re going to jump into them and pretty in depth and then talk about what they are, how they make an impact and what can you do about it? Cause it is making a big impact. I think 50% of searches are showing these a zero click options. So, 

speakerMatt Bertram·02:50

But bottom line is Google wants to keep you on the search engine and not going to your website. Right? So they’re basically, they’re actually, you know, from a legal standpoint, they’re looking at well, can they pull content from a website, but they’re giving the link of the reference, right? And so they’re providing that answer on the website. So you don’t or on the search engine, so you don’t have to leave Google. So now, right, you’re getting less clicks to your website, you know, on mobile things are changing ads. I mean, they’re trying to build revenue. There’s, you know, they’re like, Google’s going to do what’s best for Google, right? Google is also going to do what’s best for the user. 

speakerMatt Bertram·03:33

And Google believes if you don’t have to go to a website and it doesn’t load and you get your answer immediately, that’s what’s best for the user. So if you’re a small business that will impact you. So I thought it was a good time to talk about it because it is certainly having impact and how to frame it up and how to address it in the ever changing digital landscape. So, 

speakerChris Burres·04:01

And for changing digital landscape, dun, duh, all right. This article is by Matt Royce, R O Y S E a. And he starts with Google algorithm is always evolving. It’s focused on providing users with the best digital experience to enhance search results and allow users to quickly find what they’re looking for. Google introduced zero click searches, but what are they and why is everyone talking about them, including us. Right? So, 

speakerMatt Bertram·04:33

And Chris, on this episode, like, as you’re talking about it, like you just cue me because I’m going to share screen and some examples of this cause for the people watching and we’re getting more interactive in what we’re doing, to be able to show some of this as is a newer concept, I think it would be worthwhile to, you know, so just let me know when to share screen all kinds of DJ it while you’re talking. All right. 

speakerChris Burres·04:59

Okay. Yeah, that sounds good. So what are Google’s zero click searches refer to search results that appear on the top of the first search engine result. Page, the SERP, they answer queries and search allow users to find relevant information without making any further clicks. When does this happen? Google introduced this as an experiment in March of 2020 with the aim of eliminating multiple searches and searchers really didn’t need basically, they were like, Hey, if you’ve got to keep coming back to the surgeons and clicking the next link, that’s probably not so good. In other words, people would often get the result. They’re not looking for quick. The other one would cover that. For instance, if users type the phrase keyword stuffing. 

speakerChris Burres·05:43

So there’s a good image for this one in the article, if they typed in the phrase, keyword stuffing on Google, the search engine assumes that they want to know what is keyword stuffing. So it places the definition in the featured snippet to allow them to easily find it. This is also advantageous like on Google home on these kind of smart devices where you can just ask the question and it starts answering them. And it’s really pulling those out of that featured snippet just real quick. However, if the user entered how to avoid keyword stuffing, which is more specific, Google can still provide a zero click search result. That includes tips. So it’s a numbered list of tips. 

speakerMatt Bertram·06:28


speakerChris Burres·06:29

And that’s, what’s on the screen right now. The search engine can help users transform say kilometers into miles. So I use this, I actually use this regularly. It can translate currencies, Matt. You’re probably translating like cryptocurrencies and things like that. It can even tell you the time in different location. So kind of appearing on podcasts regularly. Yeah. I needed to like, okay, what’s mountain time. What’s what time is it an Australia interval? Show me it right away. So that’s pretty cool. What are the different types of featured snippets in this article? He mentioned four of them. There’s actually five of them. So we’re going to cover those. And I’ll talk about the fifth one. So the first type of featured snippet is a paragraph. 

speakerChris Burres·07:20

These include answer in a box with, or without images and they are the most common types of featured snippets, right? So Matt showing you that right there, that’s like backlinking is the phrase that they were searching and it’s just got a paragraph. Number two is a list. This is kind of self-explanatory you do a search in foam. There’s a list in his example, it’s 10 ways to optimize your website for a local SEO. And the key phrase was how to optimize for local Search. Number three is a table. This is a search. If you’re a, it obviously comes out in a table. In this example, it’s like mortgage rates. And so mortgage rates may have an FHA rate, a VA, a jumbo rate, a 15 year fixed. So it’s actually a table of data that shows you those rates. 

speakerChris Burres·08:09

And that makes perfect sense. Again, it’s that quick answer. Number four, this is the one that Matt included a video as the name suggests it’s actually a video in this case. It was like how to change a wheel bearing. That’s a task I wouldn’t take, but you know, I, can I get your. 

speakerSpeaker 4·08:28

It guy, 

speakerChris Burres·08:30

It guy, I did study mechanical engineering. I just leave that to better qualified people. And finally, I actually did a search for something in a future section here and what came up was top stories. So the search that I did actually, I was looking, and he’s got a list a little bit further down here and I’ll find it. And I did a search for just the word recipe and what came up was stopped top stories related like two stories related to the phrase recipe. So that’s another featured snippet that they’re doing. So those are the featured snippets. Matt, have you encountered any featured snippets at any point? Yes. 

speakerMatt Bertram·09:09

I actually kind of feel like Vanna white Ash. I’m like, 

speakerChris Burres·09:14

Here’s the featured snippet video. 

speakerMatt Bertram·09:18

No, I think everybody’s probably experienced these, but how does that impact your business? Right. And I think that’s really understanding how convenient it is and how much authority is represented in those feature snippets. So also like, okay, how do I get myself in those feature snippets, but also know, okay, if I’m in those feature snippet, I’m getting less clicks to my website, right? So there’s this trade-off that Google’s looking at. And I think that’s something we can certainly address later, but this is something that people are using and is convenient. And, you know, I have certainly used it myself and it is becoming more prevalent. So I think I’m just really glad that we’re covering it. 

speakerChris Burres·10:01

Yeah. So, so let’s talk about how zero click searches affect users. And HubSpot did a survey and said that 51% of users believe that zero click searches are going to help them find information easier. Another in terms of the accuracy of those searches, 47, say that the feature snippets will make results more accurate. These are just opinions, right? But people are excited about these snippets and thinking that they’re going to add value. I’d, I’d find it very interesting because even at the beginning of this article, I talked about how in the beginning of the experiment, you know, they would have these featured snippets and then people would keep clicking. So they’re honing the process of identifying the feature snippets that they need to be showing. 

speakerChris Burres·10:50

And they’re doing that by, you know, if you skip the featured snippet and then spend time re looking for more information, probably the website that you stopped on and stopped did, or kind of readjusted your search is the one that they need to kind of pull a snippet from. So let’s talk about how a featured snippets affect your SEO strategy, because this is obviously important. According to spark Toro, 50% of all searches are zero click searches, which means that now that 50% of the searches, more than half of the searches actually have a featured snippet. In fact, 112 million keywords in the H refs us database have featured snippets of 112 searches. That’s that’s, you know, more than 50% in this particular database for businesses that produce content and do SEO. This means losing meaningful website, traffic leads and conversions. 

speakerChris Burres·11:49

Since they reduced the number of clicks, a Wikipedia lost 20% of its traffic after the launch of zero clicks, right? So there that’s a big major hit age. Refs reveals that 8.6% of clicks go to featured snippets. Whereas 19.6% of clicks go to the first natural result placed below the snippet. So that’s kind of interesting. You look at the snippet and if it’s wrong, if it’s not exactly what I’m looking for, I’m not going to click into that source to read more about it. I’m going to go find another source. So it only gets about 8.6% of the clicks. Again, that does assume a click happens at all. Cause if it’s a zero click search and what that means is they read to that featured snippet. And then they went about their day, right? 

speakerChris Burres·12:40

This is saying when a click happens, it’s actually less likely to happen on that feature snippet website. So that goes to what you were saying, like this is a precipitous drop in what kind of traffic is going to get through to your website? Think about the remarketing strategy that are an absolute necessity. This doesn’t say, don’t do it. This just says, Hey, some of those remarketing strategies, aren’t going to work as well because they get the information and never visit your site. There’s no way to remarket to them. 

speakerMatt Bertram·13:10

Hey look, Chris people are spamming on our Facebook. 

speakerChris Burres·13:14

Are we getting some comments out there? 

speakerMatt Bertram·13:16

No, we’re just getting redirect links. 

speakerChris Burres·13:18

Oh, well, that’s important. Why SEO is important for you for online success. Wow. You can delete that. Hey, Mr. App, your Bo, why don’t you make a comment about the content that would be, you know, more productive, which keywords are more likely to appear in featured snippets again, age reps analyze 2 million search queries to find out the most that most of the featured snippets are triggered by long tail keywords. So it took me a while to like process this chart. I don’t know if you’re going to pull up this chart. It’s the search volume distribution of keywords with featured snippets? So basically it’s saying if the search volume was below 50 searches a month, 54% of those searches is actually a bar graph a little bit lower 54% of those searches, that one actually had a featured snippet. 

speakerChris Burres·14:18

So again, if the search volume was below 50, so longer tail more specific, more than 50% of those searches actually had a featured snippet on the other end of the spectrum with a search volume greater than 5,000, only 1.1% of those had feature snippets. So, you know, even if you’re like, oh, I’m never going to get a feature snippet, this like this doesn’t mean it’s the end for you because where the search volume actually is still not even showing featured snippets make sense. 

speakerMatt Bertram·14:51

No, I, I think that this is really interesting cause well, there’s a lot of people posting stuff about a lot of different things and I think the less searches there are, or the less search volume there is, there’s less maybe topics on that. And the AI can understand maybe where that value is, or be able to determine that a little bit better, at least maybe at this stage or what, why do you think that is Chris? I’m curious your. 

speakerChris Burres·15:21

Yeah. Well, I think it’s because of exactly what I’m about to describe. So actually if you go to the next slide, the next data point, it’s showing the top 30 most frequently met keywords and search queries that had featured snippets. And I’m going to give the first four because we’re not going to read through all of them recipe best verses and make. So I didn’t like I took me a while to process this chart too. And what it’s really saying is of the 30, most of the search queries that had featured snippets and we saw from the last graph, that means slower search volume, right? When you have a low search volume, you’re having a more likelihood of being shown a featured snippet. These words were included. So the word recipe, and this makes a sense, right? 

speakerChris Burres·16:13

Chicken recipe, whatever ravioli recipe searched up. I don’t know. 

speakerMatt Bertram·16:20

There’s a ton of search volume for recipes. Right. But yeah. Interesting best versus like these are decision points or micro-moments that people are trying to determine something. And Google is trying to help you in that stage of the journey. Right? If you look at versus make, can get cost price, you can start attaching lists. Like you can start attaching what people are most commonly searching for when they use that word. Right? Or what have you have the logic to figure that out? 

speakerChris Burres·17:01

And I think that’s what gives Google the tools. It needs to figure out which featured snippet to show like. So again, I typed in recipe, I ended up with the latest stories, right? Two recent stories that included the phrase recipe. But as you start honing that down, like best chicken strudel recipe, like then they can say like, well, here’s one, that’s highly rated that everybody’s staying on all of that. So it can offer a featured snippet as it gets more long tail, there’s more searches for the generic phrase recipe or just chicken recipe. But when you start getting into, you know, chicken and pasta recipe, you’re getting into those longer phrases. Again, those phrases that get less than 50 searches a month have a 54% of actually showing a featured snippet. 

speakerChris Burres·17:52

These are all things you want to like, keep in mind as you’re putting together. Hey, I want to earn that featured snippet section that strategy. So let’s talk about how to optimize for zero click searches. And there are really eight kind of items that map focused on the article, writing Matt, not the Matt Bertram, Matt, that you’re with me and obviously ranking as a featured snippet has been official. And the things that you want to do one target question type search queries. 

speakerChris Burres·18:24

I think we’ve mentioned that in at least two of the last five podcasts, and he gave a couple ideas, use tools like twin word ideas or keyword finder, really to hone in on what are the searches that people, what are the questions people are asking about your product or service or whatever it is that you have your website about and address those, answer those. And now after you’ve decided to answer those, use the following things, to make sure that you get that featured snippet. So one create high quality content. Why is that? So you can get backlinks that you can get good placement. Like this is all the things that we’ve been saying since 2009, sometimes with good audio sometimes with that next pay attention to your structure. 

speakerChris Burres·19:15

So this is about the schema that you’re going to use and making sure that you’re identifying every piece of the content so that Google can parse it and decide what it wants to show in that featured snippet next use images by the way, Matt, to chime in at any point, if you need to, 

speakerMatt Bertram·19:35

I, I like this. I’m just deejaying this and you’re just, or you’re on a roll Chris. Like, what do I, what do you want me to say? Yeah, I want you to add sounds into this. That that will be the next thing we’re going to get there. Don’t worry. So, 

speakerChris Burres·19:52

So include images, use facts and stats. Like that’s one of the things that you’re looking for. If you’re looking for, I don’t know the best, you know, chicken raviola ravioli recipe, then you want to know, okay, well, once I make this, like how many calories is it going to have? What’s the protein count. So you want to use those facts and stats in it be concise, right? And that’s not necessarily like writing short content, that’s writing content that’s broken apart really well so that Google can maybe take your fifth paragraph and say, Hey, that’s the piece that I’m going to show as the featured snippet. So that’s be concise and then include an FAQ section so that it understands you’ve got comprehensive information. 

speakerChris Burres·20:35

That’s also going to be a great way to drive those inbound links, because if I can provide all the information that people need on that topic in one page, then people are going to link to that. 

speakerMatt Bertram·20:47

Chris, I’m trying to make this a zero click in the comments I should have titled it a little bit better. Yes. Put all the ways to rank. Like I should have titled it a little bit better, all the ways to rank. So zero click, you don’t even have to listen to the article and you could just look at this and boom, you know, everything you need to know. And that’s how zero click works. I would say, you know, certainly from, you know, high quality content standpoint, if there’s topics that everybody’s been writing about or talking about, like Google wants to see new information and kind of like the specialty domain and really Google’s goal is to index all information in the world. 

speakerMatt Bertram·21:29

So provide some unique high quality expert information site structure, or page structure with bulleted lists on numbered lists, breaking the content apart of like how people read it. So small sentences, not necessarily perfect grammar is super important. Google likes those, like FAQ’s original images. A lot of people are using stock art. Well, think about it from a stock art standpoint or stock video, or a product standpoint, depending on what your topic is or rendering, like if other people are using it or the company or manufacturer puts it out, it’s not original content. So I see a lot of blogs that aren’t original content. Ideally, if you can have all original content, now you got original images on that page. If you use stock art, I’m not saying that it’s bad, it helps for conversions, but at the same time, it’s not original, right. 

speakerMatt Bertram·22:25

Facts and stats. Absolutely. Okay. I’ve found that Google absolutely loves that. Even sourcing that out is super important. Going back to like people’s attention span when they’re reading the web being concise. And one of the things we do, a lot of this is important for Google. My business, right, is there’s a FAQ section on there. Commonly asked questions, putting maybe three commonly asked questions on the bottom of whatever target page or five or whatever. Also, if you have a FAQ section, each individual page needs to be its own FAQ. Right. And I think that’s where people go wrong a lot of times, or you might have mixed in a company FAQ’s with industry FAQ’s right. And so like, what? 

speakerMatt Bertram·23:09

So if there’s a company FAQ, maybe you put all those together, but industry FAQ’s or like answering people’s commonly asked questions that not product specific, you want to separate those out because you want that page to be the most relevant ranking for whatever topic you’re going after. And think about it. If you answer five different questions one page, how accurate, and is crystal clear that information about whatever that someone’s asking, right? It’s like, it’s like taking a, a Coca Cola drink and I’ve used this in maybe past interviews or having like a fountain drink and like doing a suicide and like mixing them all together and then going, like, what do I taste most? Right. And so if you’re trying to be like, whatever the question is, it’s Coca-Cola or Dr. 

speakerMatt Bertram·23:56

Pepper or whatever, having it all be about that question is the best way to provide the most relevant information there with no irrelevant information. So really breaking apart in segmenting that data in to categories. One of the analogies that I, I learned in college and I’ve used with some of the team and they’ve maybe made some snickering comments about it, but I think it’s worth sharing really think about Google and engineers making this like waffles, right? Like putting syrup in like waffles, not like spaghetti where it’s all mixed together. I think that same analogy for programming goes well, but like really putting the topic in its own category and not mixing everything together. So you like waffles, not spaghetti. Maybe that should have been the title of the podcast, 

speakerChris Burres·24:51

Your waffle strategy versus spaghetti strategy. 

speakerMatt Bertram·24:54

And I think that might get some clicks. I don’t know, but we can try it. 

speakerChris Burres·24:58

And one thing that was actually lifted left off by, I will call him article Matt is included images, but you should have a video to like put together a short little video. That’s going to add value to the content on the page again, you know, if you’ve got the perfect page and no one in the internet sphere has linked to it, Google’s not going to put it in the featured snippet. Like that’s just not going to happen. So this is, this goes back to not just writing great content and putting it together well so that people like it also driving links to it and then making sure it’s structured so Google can understand it and select the featured snippet out of your content. 

speakerMatt Bertram·25:40

And Google can read videos, right? Google can read videos. Now they can read PDFs. It can read a lot of information. And it’s trying to sift through all that information to make sure it has the proper, you know, the most valuable information to the user. But man videos is something we’ve been talking about for, well, two and a half years ago, we started a videography division because it was so important and it’s the best way to explain it. And so taking some of what you’re talking about and putting it into a video format is a fantastic way of increasing your SEO value. So, 

speakerChris Burres·26:23

And I think, you know, she talks about, is it sheet? Cause I just saw a picture. 

speakerMatt Bertram·26:28

It is she, I thought, yeah, 

speakerChris Burres·26:30

That’s what I thought, but this, okay. So a there’s something at the beginning that says Matt and apparently this article, 

speakerMatt Bertram·26:39

It’s a guy I’ll show I’m going to show back here. Well, 

speakerChris Burres·26:43

Oh, that’s probably an ad. Okay. Got it. Okay. So it’s Matt, there was an ad on the back page that I printed that shows a woman for something else. 

speakerMatt Bertram·26:52

This is the map. There. 

speakerChris Burres·26:54

We go. 

speakerMatt Bertram·26:55


speakerChris Burres·26:56

It is. In fact, Matt. So it goes on to talk about the takeaways, but the real takeaway is there’s opportunity here. Like this is something that you should be focusing on and the things that you really need to focus on are, you know, target question type searches, create high quality content, pay attention to structure, include images and videos, use facts and stats be concise and actually references like you want to make sure that you tag those and where they came from, be concise and include a fact section. And I think that’s the real takeaway from this article. 

speakerMatt Bertram·27:32

I like it. I like it. This is the knowledge enthusiasts, Matt, how do you say his last name? Sorry, Rosie Please. Gosh, we have someone on our company named Royce. I can’t believe that. I get that. Alright. Matthew Royce. All right. Cool. 

speakerChris Burres·27:48

Very cool. So that wraps up the article again. We would really appreciate you going to get re give us a review, EWI digital.com forward slash review. I mean, only if you’ve got any value out of this article, if you didn’t get any value out of that, get any value out of this podcast. 

speakerMatt Bertram·28:04

And some likes. Okay. I appreciate it. Appreciate it. So there’s some value, right? Some value. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. 

speakerChris Burres·28:12

And that wraps up. This is actually the labor day weekend. I don’t know when this will go live probably the week after labor day weekend, but if hopefully everyone has a great labor day weekend. I want to wish them that. 

speakerMatt Bertram·28:25


speakerChris Burres·28:25

And until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres. 

speakerMatt Bertram·28:28

My name is Matt Bertram. 

speakerChris Burres·28:29

Bye bye. For now. 

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