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Rand Fishkin came out with yet an eye popping study, saying that based on SimilarWeb data “64.82% of searches on Google (desktop and mobile combined) ended in the search results without clicking to another web property.” The previous year he used Jumpshot data which showed 50.33% of all Google searches ended without a click to any web property in the results.

Jumpshot is no longer around, so he was unable to use their data this time, but Rand said that the “number is likely undercounting some mobile and nearly all voice searches, and thus it’s probable that more than 2/3rds of all Google searches are what I’ve been calling zero-click searches.”

Now, a lot of folks in the industry are now asking for Rand to break down the data. What percentage of the data are queries for weather, sports scores, math questions (5+5), time (what time is it in X), what is today’s date, definitions or spellings, or fact based questions like how old is Obama. Heck some of those queries Google decided to show no search results at all on mobile. And if you look at Rand’s published data, on mobile searches his number goes from 65% to 77%!

Maybe there is a sign there? Maybe people are searching for local stores or restaurants, clicking on the local panel results, clicking get directions or clicking on a store’s phone number but not going to the local store’s website? Maybe people are searching for recently released videos that the publisher hosted on YouTube, which is a Google property? Maybe people searching on mobile are looking for basic definitions or spelling help?

It would be wonderful to get a break down on query intent here but Rand said he just wanted to show “all searches,” and not break it down because he wanted to show data for all normal searches. But again, do all searches warrant a click?

Here are some of the folks questioning the study but don’t get me wrong, I am grateful Rand did the study. It shines a light on Google and maybe, just maybe Google can give us more data – especially on featured snippet Search Console tracking. But anyway, here are some important tweets (note, the embeds are broken so I am including screen shots of the tweets, you can click on the screenshots to see the original tweet):

So just keep this in mind but I am glad Rand published this, it gets us all thinking about Google, fairness, studies, what data they look at, and so on.

Ultimately, I think Google needs to release more filters in the performance report in Google Search Console. At least for the featured snippets section, I’d love voice break downs, and heck, maybe even show by category what gets clicked on. Again, for most local businesses, restaurants, local stores, people going to their local listing in Google and clicking on a phone number or driving directions is the desired response.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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