How ‘Position Zero’ in Google Search Impacts Your Website’s Traffic

May 21, 2019

Is your drop in traffic a true indicator of less visibility in search results? Or is it merely because you’re showing up more prominently?

In the past, we’ve talked about Google’s search interface changes and how they impact the overall search results - like our article breaking down how to get in Google’s Answer Box (also known as a Featured Snippet or 'Position Zero').

How to Get A Featured Snippet in Google's Answer Box

While getting featured can lead to more click-throughs to your website to learn more about the subject, it can also lead to people feeling like their question is already answered without clicking over to your website.

A new survey from Path Interactive, took a closer look into Google’s organic search results and how users (particularly younger users) are engaging with those results.

The survey, which polled users from multiple countries (72% U.S. respondents), sought to determine how consumers today interact with the myriad components of the Google SERP.

The findings indicated that while the traditional search results still dominate user attention, a larger portion of younger users are becoming more inclined to look at content provided in the Featured Snippets and Knowledge Panel, without clicking away from the Google results page.

This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “no-click” search results.

Source: Path Interactive (2019)

Younger users were more likely to engage in “no-click” behavior when presented with Featured Snippets. Older users tended to look beyond Snippets for more information from other organic links – though they also were less likely to differentiate between ads and organic listings.

Nearly three-fourths (72.5 percent) of all respondents found Snippets trustworthy or semi-trustworthy.

The responses were very similar when asked about Knowledge Panel results – which is the information that sometimes appears in the right hand column of Google’s search results.

Source: Path Interactive (2019)

The majority of searchers (92.1 percent) looked at Knowledge Panel results. Within that group, 55 percent continued looking at other links, but the remaining 37 percent said they “considered my search complete” with the Knowledge Panel — another “no-click” scenario.

How Does This Impact Your Website’s Traffic?

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Google’s Snippets, Knowledge Panels and other structured content is a great opportunity for your business to be discovered in Google, but it can also lead to users not needing to visit your website to find the solution to their problem.

One of the biggest examples of this would be to find a business’ location. Back before these in-search answers existed, in order to find the locations of a business, you’d have to visit their website. Now, when you search the business in Google, you can automatically see their location and instantly get directions through Google. So where you would’ve once had a website visitor out of that search, now you don’t.

Before jumping to conclusions about a drop in traffic from last year or the year before, check to see which specific pages have dropped in traffic to see if it is because of a “no-click” scenario in Google. From there you can decide whether to work to enhance that page to increase its rankings, or accept that it is already in a good position but is receiving less traffic because the user is being helped directly in Google.

Have more questions about Google search rankings? We can help!

Call Sales & Marketing Technologies today for a free strategy session with one of our digital marketing experts.

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