Good morning, Marketers, the plot thickens. 

You likely recall the data from SparkToro and Jumpshot (RIP) that showed that more than a third of desktop and half of mobile searches end without a click to a website. Now, a new study shows a somewhat similar pattern in aggregate, but also indicates that the rise of the zero-click search is a more complex story than first appears — with implications for SEO and PPC.

To be sure the evolution of Google as a portal — as Jessica Bowman has referred to the search engine’s moves to enable users to get information, take action and even transact right from the SERP — is happening. But its impact is felt more dramatically in some query categories than others, according to the study from Perficient Digital, which analyzed roughly 250 million searches with partner AuthorityLabs. 

On commercial results, where ads appear at the top of the results page, the percentage of no-click searches declined significantly on desktop, the study found.  

Another surprise: snippets don’t have a big impact on CTR in aggregate. That bucks the conventional wisdom that featured snippets suppress click-throughs. 

Read on for a Pro Tip on picking up incremental sales on Amazon, info on Google’s AR/3D images and more.

Ginny Marvin

Pro Tip

Capturing sales from competitor terms on Amazon

“In terms of incrementality, nothing is better than capturing a sale from your competitor. However, you’re likely to find that the ACoS of competitor keywords is significantly worse than that of generic or category keywords,” explains Andrew Waber of Teikametrics. “The best strategy depends a lot on your competitive landscape. Conquesting your competitor’s terms means having a deep understanding of the terms which you can reasonably bid against successfully. Terms relating to stronger competitors with deeper brand loyalty/recognition may necessitate a less aggressive strategy to control costs, while it may be well worth your while to bid forcefully against terms related to relatively weak competitors where it’s easier to pick off customers with your top products.”

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Protect your keywords and stop ad hijacking

Ad Hijacking can be very damaging to your paid search programs. It happens when an affiliate impersonates a brand by running ads that look identical to a brand’s ads by using similar headlines, descriptions, and display URL, to increase the odds that users will click on their ads instead of the brand’s. Read this white paper from BrandVerity to learn the most common indicators of ad hijacking and get tips on how to stop ad hijacking.

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Search Shorts

3D/AR images, photo/video reviewed and product markup.

3D/AR Google developer docs.  You can check out the developer documents and the form to express interest for the 3D and AR-based images in Google search.

Photos and video reviewed.  Google My Business said on Twitter: We’ve made changes to our photo and video content policy. All photos and videos are now reviewed before publication.

Google product markup tweak.[Y]ou need “review” OR “aggregateRating” OR “offers” in your Product markup,” Google’s Martin Splitt explained.


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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

8 things to learn from the Apps, Games, & Insights podcast – Google Blog

An update on AMP Conf – The AMP Blog

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Why Negative SEO Matters, Even if Rankings Are Unaffected – Moz

DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar Exposes Hidden Tracking – SpreadPrivacy

Earn more from your ads – Google Blog

Google Assistant will lose John Legend’s voice on March 23rd – Engadget

Google My Business Management Box In Web Search Results – Search Engine Roundtable

How to Conduct and Report on Competitor Benchmarking – Portent

PPC & CRO Congruence: Why It Matters – PPC Hero

Why Tangential Content is The Secret to Great Link Building – Go Fish Digital