Apple does it with cleverly designed hardware and well integrated software. Facebook does it with free social media access in exchange for private information used against you with advertising. Google does it by making you click only once after a search.
Click Less Era
It wasn’t long ago that I found myself hating to search for anything on Google or DuckDuckGo or Bing or anywhere else because it meant wading through a laundry list of search results. Wait. What? Isn’t that what you want? Results?
Yes. What we don’t want is to wade through long list of results, so we– we’re human, so like water, we flow downhill to the easiest route– take the least number of steps to get where we want, even if more steps would yield a better result and location.
Google knows that. That’s how the company created the Click Less era. Sara Fischer calls it Google’s Clickless Era. Click Less is better because, well, you still have to click. Duh.
On mobile, where the majority of search traffic takes place, organic searches have fallen about 20%, and have instead been replaced by paid searches and “zero click” searches, or search queries that result in snippets of information being presented, removing the need for a user to click into a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.
You had to click to get the results, and you still have to click to view them, but the number of clicks has been reduced because Google puts what they want up high, knowing that users hate to dig deeper to scour additional results.
Those results show up the way they do because Google already knows what you want. That’s scary.
Rand Fishkin has some news that should scare those of us who use Google to search.
- The percent of searches available as organic traffic from Google is steadily declining, especially on mobile.
- Paid clicks tend to increase whenever Google makes changes to how those results are displayed, then slowly decline as searchers get more familiar with spotting and avoiding them.
- Google’s ongoing attempts to answer more searches without a click to any results OR a click to Google’s own properties are both proving successful. As a result, zero-click searches, and clicks that bring searchers to a Google-owned site keep rising.
That means we now live in the Click Less era. Not clickless— you still have to click, but you can click less than ever because the first results Google displays are so enticing that users don’t bother to continue the search to additional pages of results.
How is that shameful?
Google is using information it knows about each user to provide a quick list of results to a search query fully targeted at the user with the intent of getting a click to other Google properties or to Google advertisers. That means the result you really want may be farther down the page or even on the next page, but you’ll never go that far.