Organic search engagement now accounts for 45% of all click-based actions on Google, according to a new report by tech platform SparkToro, which also highlights a major “zero-click” trend.
The latest research found that searches resulting in an ad click amounted to just 4.42% of the 40 million browser-based searches analysed in June this year made by people in the US across mobile devices and desktop.
SparkToro’s CEO Rand Fishkin expects a further decline for paid search click-through rates during the coming months and a rise in tandem of organic results, though he noted that Google could try to arrest the drop off by implementing new methods to entice searchers to engage with ads.
Speaking about the decline, he said: “That’s because historically, each time Google changes how paid ads appear in the search results (like the late May shift to the black ‘Ad’ labels in mobile SERPs), ad CTR rises, then slowly declines as more searchers get familiar with the ad format and develop ad blindness.”
Search-based journeys not culminating in a click through to content have been on the rise in recent years and this is now the new normal. The study found that there were 50.33% of these “zero-click” searches in June, which is the first time ever that this has commanded a majority.
Fishkin said that the dearth of clicks does not mean that there is not an opportunity for SEOs to optimise their campaigns to drive exposure and awareness.