This is a user generated content for MyStory, a YourStory initiative to enable its community to contribute and have their voices heard. The views and writings here reflect that of the author and not of YourStory.

How to Prepare for Zero Click Searches: An Extensive Guide

Optimize for the featured snippet, image, definitions and explanations to survive in the contemporary digital ecosystem where zero click search is the trend.

How to Prepare for Zero Click Searches: An Extensive Guide

Monday February 24, 2020,

7 min Read

A Search Engine Land report states that over half of Google searches end without a click! The tech-geeks have given it a fancy name: zero click search.

Bad news? Let’s analyse.

Take a look at the basics first.

What Is a Zero Click Search?

A zero click search is when a user conducts a Google search but instead of clicking on any search result, derives information directly from the short content present on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

You must have come across the following instances of zero click searches:

  • Map direction searches - Local search queries such as “near me” searches.

  • Dictionary style searches - Search queries related to the definition or meaning of a phrase.
  • Database style searches - Search queries related to age and names of people or products, currency conversion, time, weather, dates, etc.

And the list continues...

If it already scares you, brace yourself, because this is the contemporary digital scenario and tech gurus predict this trend will persist and evolve in the due course of time.

Wondering why the good-old-days have suddenly changed? Here are some reasons:

Most often search queries are answered by a featured snippet or knowledge panel. A featured snippet pulls out a short answer directly from the content into the SERP and removes the necessity for a user to click on the organic search result.

Similarly, knowledge panels or Google answer boxes are simply database entries featuring data and facts.

But, while these may enhance the search experience for the users who receive their answers without spending much time or effort, these can create trouble for the business owners or SEO professionals as well who rely on organic traffic to run their businesses.

Have you started to blame Google already?


Consider it from the searcher’s perspective.

What extra benefit do they get in going to a site to check the showtime of a movie when they can get the same information without any ad, without spending time, or without scrolling down the page?

Users expect the information to be available at their fingertips. And Google seeks to deliver just that. Because, Google’s ultimate objective is to enhance the user experience.

To put it simply, the accessibility of content is not novel, but a norm; and Google displaying answers directly on SERP is the epitome of it.

Well, even if you are not ready to buy the argument, there’s no way you can deny the real-time situation.

This phenomenon led many a people freak out assuming SEO professionals or content creators may lose their jobs as Google is “stealing” organic traffic.

It’s time to bust these rumours.

So, let’s address these concerns first!

Does the Top Rank Still Matter?

Yes, to drive visibility and evoke a positive brand impression. And if your content is attractive and informative, it will compel the users to click on the link.

We admit that earning a single click has become difficult in the contemporary digital ecosystem. But take a deep breath and look at the brighter side.

The few clicks you receive are from potentially qualified leads. They are not satisfied with the snippet information and want to learn more about your business. So they have a higher chance to convert and boost your revenue or be a loyal follower (of course, if you can satisfy their query and provide a top-notch user-experience).

Has SEO Lost Relevance?

No, Search Engine Optimization is not going anywhere, not anytime soon. And the experts at any SEO agency India are not going to be jobless due to zero click search phenomenon.

Much relieved, right? Dig in to know why.

Because, without proper optimization and link building, you cannot occupy the top rank on search results.

Keywords, too, play a crucial role in this. Long-tail keywords have a higher chance to drive qualified leads as these are more specific.

Let’s explain it with an example.

Someone searching for “digital” perhaps has no clue what he/she is looking for. But people searching with “top digital marketing services in India” is perhaps actively seeking assistance from a professional company. So, if your agency offers the same and you target the latter keyword, you have a higher chance to drive conversion.

As Google algorithm is getting smarter, intent matching keywords are coming to the forefront rather than phrase matching keywords. So it’s better not to affect the content quality by stuffing keywords. Maintain a natural flow of writing and let the keywords appear organically.

Technical SEO is also crucial for your web page. How would you like if the leads land on your page and then leave without spending much time (thereby increasing the bounce rate) because it took too much time for your page to load!

Studies reveal about half of the traffic leaves a page if it takes more than three seconds to load (Source: Hobo-Web)! So, it’s high time to optimize your page elements and enhance the loading speed.

You may also engage the experts at any top SEO agency who can help to improve your rank on the SERP.

Also, the information revealed on the SERP is extracted from the content. So content creators, too, have a moment to cherish. However, they need to brush up their skills to deliver top-notch content. Here are some pro tips to follow.

By the way, have you ever wondered if PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns can bury SEO! The huge number of advertisements appearing every time you hit a search query must have given you a hint! Check out our blog to find the answer and take action immediately!

What’s the Way Out?

Yes, now we come to the most significant part. If this is the current digital trend, you definitely need a proper plan to beat that. Here’s how:

  • Optimize for Featured Snippet

Time and again we come across the question that if the basic information is already revealed in the featured snippet, no one is going to click on the link. Then what’s the point of optimizing for a featured snippet!

We admit it, featured snippet = no click. So, it’s valueless from a ‘click-perspective’.

But it drives the visibility of your brand. Also, it delivers authority and boosts brand awareness. This may later lead the users specifically search you out or click on your page when they find your site showing up for another query.

So, featured snippet is not a traffic killer, but a reputation builder.

We have an extensive guideline on how to optimize for a featured snippet. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Use long-tail keywords
  • Write concise paragraphs of 40-50 words
  • Use headers for each section

  • Optimize for Definitions and Explanations

Target a “what is” query and offer a comprehensive explanation. Ideally, you should start the answer with “X is a” (X being the search query).

Of course you may add an in-depth analysis of the topic on your page, but it’s better to follow the inverted pyramid structure of journalistic writing.

  • Optimize for Lists and Tables

List style posts are generally used to answer “why” or “how to” queries. If you are targeting such questions, make sure to offer a step-by-step guide.

Tables are also ideal for comparison queries.

  • Optimize for an Image

Add an image just below the table, list, or paragraph on your page content.

Also, use an image-alt tag to help the web crawler easily understand the content of your image.

At a Glance

Websites are no more about providing basic information like score or weather update. It’s about offering unique, deep, and thorough content. The site content needs to move away from surface-level information in favour of deep and comprehensive content.

Consider zero click searches as a sign for what users expect from the web content - data, analysis, trends, and valuable ideas. The content needs to be worthy enough to earn a click.


So, there you have it. Our comprehensive guidelines on how to deal with zero click searches. Get rid of the age-old SEO techniques and upgrade yourself with the latest trends.

However, if you are not a tech-geek and face a tough time in optimizing your site, it’s high time to engage professional SEO services.

Got an opinion? We are all eyes!