Canonical Chronicle - Episode 30 - 48% of all searches have zero clicks

In this video

In this episode we discuss:

  • Google update to my Business

  • The outcome of Rand Fishkin study, which shows that almost 49% of all searches have zero clicks

  • Carousel text ads on mobile are being tested by Google

  • A new feature allows you to edit your markup inside search console

  • And much, much more!

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I’m Ross Tavendale, the managing director of Type A Media, a creative search agency based in London. I make videos about business leadership, web technology, SEO, PPC and how I turned being a Type A personality into a business.


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Ross: 00:00 He drinks a whiskey drink.

Ross: 00:01 He drinks a vodka drink.

Ross: 00:02 He drinks a lager drink.

Ross: 00:04 He drinks a cider drink.

Ross: 00:05 Welcome to the Canonical Chronicle, Episode 7,000,003,

Ross: 00:09 let's get into it.

New Speaker: 00:10 (singing)

Ross: 00:16 If local SEO is a big part of your traffic and your revenue,

Ross: 00:19 you're going to absolutely love the new updates that

Ross: 00:21 have just come out of Google My Business.

Ross: 00:23 You're going to have lots more control over how things look

Ross: 00:26 and you can brand up your listing page and make it absolutely fabulous darling.

Speaker 2: 00:33 Sweetie darling, sweetie darling, sweetie darling.

Speaker 2: 00:37 You don't mind me calling you that do you sweetie? Hey? Darling?

Ross: 00:37 You can now add your logo, a cover photo, an image carousel,

Ross: 00:43 and you can even put welcome offers for people who follow the business.

Ross: 00:48 Wait. Did they just say the word, "Follow the business"?

Ross: 00:51 Follow's a very social media term.

Ross: 00:54 Are we really going to begin to see a reincarnation of

Ross: 00:56 Google+ like some sort of zombie social network?

Ross: 01:02 From the looks of things Google is gearing up to be more of a platform

Ross: 01:05 than a search engine. So if you're a local business,

Ross: 01:09 I recommend taking a very long, hard look at your review strategy

Ross: 01:14 and even using Google's new dedicated site to order up some cool posters and stickers.

Ross: 01:20 They now actually let you take the reviews and

Ross: 01:22 turn them into printed sales collateral.

Ross: 01:26 And to be honest it's kind of cool. It reminds me of this BrewDog T-shirt

Ross: 01:31 campaign where they printed bad reviews on T-shirts like these.

Ross: 01:35 "Come to BrewDog. There are relatively few wankers here on a Saturday."

Ross: 01:39 Or this gem, "This is just a shit hipster Wetherspoons."

Ross: 01:43 A recent study by the original gangster of SEO,

Ross: 01:46 and my personal saviour and bearded overlord, the one and only Rand Fishkin... (singing)

Ross: 01:55 I mean he is so dreamy.

Ross: 01:59 Anyways, a recent study that he conducted showed that

Ross: 02:01 48.96% of searches captured through Jumpshot clickstream data

Ross: 02:07 are actually showing zero click events.

Ross: 02:10 This means people are conducting their searches and

Ross: 02:12 getting their info with no clicks away from a Google property.

Ross: 02:17 At this stage Google is kind of like the Cruella de Vil of the click world.

Speaker 3: 02:21 Oh well, in that case I'll take them all,

Ross: 02:24 the whole litter. Just name your price dear.

Ross: 02:27 So why is all this happening?

Ross: 02:29 Well, when we look at the data further we can see that click-through rate

Ross: 02:32 is down in organic but up in ads. This is mostly due to mobile searches

Ross: 02:37 where instant answers and answer boxes are most prevalent.

Ross: 02:41 Now a lot of these searches will be around informational stuff,

Ross: 02:44 like the time, currency conversions, translations, et cetera, but if you're in travel,

Ross: 02:50 you will that there is a lot of booking in comparison SERPS, now pushing organic listings way,

Ross: 02:55 way below the fold.

Ross: 02:57 So with organic clickshare eroding over time, what should your strategy be?

Ross: 03:01 Regardless of what one platform is doing you should be trying to grow

Ross: 03:04 your brand awareness and goodwill through as many channels as humanly possible.

Ross: 03:09 This all stems from a solid brand and content strategy that

Ross: 03:12 uses the platforms like Google and Facebook to amplify what you're already doing,

Ross: 03:18 not be the sole provider of the traffic.

Ross: 03:21 In the SAS they say two is one, and one is none.

Ross: 03:24 This means not having a backup strategy is a terrible strategy to rely on.

Ross: 03:28 So if Google is 50% of your current traffic, time to start diversifying.

Ross: 03:34 Since its inception we've been able to go to Search Console

Ross: 03:37 and tell Google the version of our domain that should be indexed.

Ross: 03:41 For example the dub, dub, dub version or the non dub, dub, dub version,

Ross: 03:45 secure or non-secure. You get the picture.

Ross: 03:49 Now I've audited sites where there more domain options

Ross: 03:52 than there were shrimps at the Bubba Gump Restaurant.

Speaker 4: 03:55 There's pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp...

Ross: 04:01 So if you're worried that Google will index the wrong versions of your site

Ross: 04:04 and your traffic will disappear overnight,

Ross: 04:07 then simply following a bunch these directors we're about

Ross: 04:10 to go over will stop that from happening.

Ross: 04:12 Number one, use rel=canonical links on every HTML page.

Ross: 04:16 Number two, use rel-canonical in the HTTP header.

Ross: 04:20 Use a sitemap.

Ross: 04:22 Use 3O1 redirects for broken URLs.

Ross: 04:25 For full details Google have got all the documentation

Ross: 04:28 on their site and the link to all that stuff is in the description below.

Ross: 04:31 So we've had carousels on ads before

Ross: 04:35 but we're more used to seeing them inside of shopping ads.

Ross: 04:37 The act of swiping to the right on shopping ads is kind of like

Ross: 04:40 being on Tinder but without the rejection and all the creepy sexual overtones.

Speaker 5: 04:45 You play piano?

Speaker 5: 04:47 Sure do.

Speaker 5: 04:47 Wanna do it?

Speaker 5: 04:49 Sure do.

Ross: 04:52 The interesting thing that we see here is that

Ross: 04:54 this is showing up on a brand search, and the ads below are truncated to only the headline,

Ross: 04:59 which kind of makes them a bit... well a bit shit to be honest.

Ross: 05:03 So as Google keeps struggling to hit their quarterly earnings

Ross: 05:06 we're going to see them being increasingly more aggressive and

Ross: 05:09 pulling different places to put ads. They're trying to increase their ad inventory.

Ross: 05:14 And if we consider Google removed the average possessions and metric

Ross: 05:17 in AdWords just a couple of months ago, when we see these text carousels,

Ross: 05:21 that makes sense because there is no average position when you're moving sideways.

Ross: 05:25 If you've noticed a decline in mobile performance of late,

Ross: 05:28 it may be because your ads are showing up in these really weird irrelevant SERPS,

Ross: 05:32 or maybe your competitors are just killing you because

Ross: 05:34 they've got better optimised ad copy for those tiny little plaques.

Ross: 05:39 This next one is for the nerds that love structured mark-up testing.

Speaker 6: 05:45 Your appearance is comical to me.

Ross: 05:45 You can now update your mark-up right inside Search Console.

Ross: 05:49 The new feature lets you search the code on your page, find the piece you want to update,

Ross: 05:55 then validate it, all within Search Console.

Ross: 05:58 The update is very much like the structured data testing tool but

Ross: 06:01 it's now backed into Search Console itself.

Ross: 06:04 So when you see bugs and issues on the site, you can go right in, work out how to fix them,

Ross: 06:10 and validate the fixes all in one place.

Ross: 06:13 We're going to see a lot more from Google around structured mark-up,

Ross: 06:13

Ross: 06:16 and the reason? Well, they want it to be easier to steal our content

Ross: 06:20 and power more of those zero click search events

Ross: 06:23 and keep everything away from our sites and keep them on Google sites.

Ross: 06:28 Don't believe me?

Ross: 06:29 Well that new research from SparkToro shows that almost half

Ross: 06:32 of Google searches are resulting in a zero click website event.

Ross: 06:37 I think Willy Wonka put it best.

Speaker 7: 06:39 It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal. You get nothing.

Ross: 06:44 You lose. Good day sir.

Ross: 06:47 So what should we do?

Ross: 06:50 It's never really been more important to have a robust brand and content strategy.

Ross: 06:54 Focus on your product, your services and providing the best experience

Ross: 06:57 to your customers. And ultimately you need to produce

Ross: 07:01 a lot more content and publish on a lot more platforms.

Ross: 07:05 Take a serious look at how you're allocating your marketing spend

Ross: 07:09 and start to have a plan to grow the business through

Ross: 07:11 paid non-search channels as well as Google.

Ross: 07:16 And... And I cannot believe that I'm saying this, potentially look

Ross: 07:20 at traditional advertising means because it does build brand awareness and good will.

Speaker 8: 07:25 Want to give up strong tasting cigarettes? (singing)

Speaker 8: 07:31 Want to give up harsh tasting cigarettes? (singing)

Speaker 8: 07:42 Want to give up rough tasting cigarettes? (singing)

Ross: 07:46 Okay well maybe not that far,

Ross: 07:47 but a renewed focus on brand should see you okay.

Ross: 07:51 That's everything for this week's Canonical Chronicle.

Ross: 07:54 Thank you so much for watching. If you'd like to follow us on social,

Ross: 07:57 please do so with the links down below. And until next time,

Ross: 07:59 we will see you later.