Stories

Google's clickless era

An illustration of mouse click icons as tombstones.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

For the first time last month, a majority of all browser-based Google searches resulted in zero clicks, according to a new study from software company Sparktoro.

Why it matters: The report's author notes that Google's functionality has changed to keep users within the Google ecosystem, not to always refer them outside of it. "We’ve passed a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden," he writes.

Details: On mobile, where the majority of search traffic takes place, organic searches have fallen about 20%, and have instead been replaced by paid searches and "zero click" searches, or search queries that result in snippets of information being presented, removing the need for a user to click into a link.

  • In January 2016, the report notes, more than half of mobile searches ended without a click. Today, it's almost two-thirds.

Go deeper: The death of the click