New Ways From Semalt To Measure No Click SEO Results

Are you experiencing some difficulties in measuring the impact of no-click searches on your website? Or are you wondering if searches that don't result in clicks benefit your website? This article is designed to help answer all these questions. 

Back in August 2019, the CEO and co-founder of SparkToro Rand Fiskin wrote a post that is largely referenced when discussing no click searches. 

Today, more than half of Google searches end up as no-clicks, and Fishkin explained how Google passed a milestone in becoming a walled garden from a search engine. For the first time in June 2019, a majority of Google's browser-based searches resulted in no clicks. 

In March 2020, the attention of a vast majority of SEO professionals shifted to responding to the unsavory and unpredictable changes that followed as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic. 

No clicks searches and their consequences were something many professionals didn't spend too long discussing. Not until the end of 2020, at least. By December 2020, we consulted our usual analytics on websites, and we discovered that no click searches were one of the top four topics discussed in the Decembers Searchmetrics webcast. 

According to search metrics, about 48% of searches that were targeted at the e-сommerce industry turned up as no click searches. 32% of these searches were organic, and 20% were paid. 

The media industry particularly noticed the highest percentage of no-click searches, about 63%. 33% of those searches were organic, and only 4% were paid. 

What does this rise in no click searches mean for SEO professionals?

The VP of clients and Account Manager of Search metrics, Tyson Stockton, explains that if you currently measure your SEO results using clicks on the organic search result, you will have to learn to measure SEO results in new ways to get an accurate reading. 

For this reason, Semalt has had to learn new ways of measuring our SEO success. This way, our clients are absolutely sure that they are getting an accurate result with nothing getting flushed down the drain. 

Getting a click on an organic search result is still an important metric. And we already know how to use Google Analytics to measure the conversions, acquisition, and behavior from this channel. But when we study zero-click searches, we discover that: 
  • Ever since September 2013, Google analytics no longer reported the keywords that provided organic search traffic which left many SEO experts with no other choice but to turn to other third-party tools for this important data. 
  • In July 2014, Google launched a potentially dangerous experiment and discovered that about 60% of the direct traffic to its "long" URL was probably organic search traffic. 
  • In May 2015, Search Console was launched by Google. It is designed to report Impressions and Clicks for the top 5,000 queries, although it doesn't link this information to goal completion or goal value. 
By digging deeper into each of these areas, maybe it is possible to see if there exist new ways to measure SEO results. 

Keywords not provided turned SEO professionals into third-party apps

Semalt, like many other professionals, didn't welcome the development when Google Analytics stopped reporting which keywords provided 97% of organic searches. Many professionals turned to other apps such as SpyFu to survive. Initially, these third party apps were to replace the data we weren't getting from Google Analytics, but we then began to discover that by using our SEO Recon Files, we could set a great baseline before creating new SEO training schemes. We will then get periodic updates and track or client's organization's SEO results. 

This information proved very useful in tracking the increasing or decreasing number of times the keywords we used on our clients' sites get searched on Google's search engine. 

This was indeed a new way to measure SEO results. 

60% of direct long URLs traffic is organic search traffic.

We've learned from Groupon's experiment and wouldn't be trying it on any website. We advise that you also do not try it as it is dangerous. That is because they had to completely deindex their entire website for up to 6 hours. So instead of doing the same thing, we borrow part of Groupon's approach and examine the direct traffic flowing to your landing pages with long URLs. To explain further, we exclude your homepage where direct traffic is really direct traffic. 

We can do this in Google Analytics without putting our clients' sites at risk by going to Acquisitions, then clicking All Traffic Channels and then clicking on Direct. Its default view shows data on acquisition, Behavior, and Conversion by the landing page. 

This can be done in the Google Analytics Demo Account. This is a tool from Google's Official Merchandise Store. It is a common e-commerce site known for selling Google-branded merchandise. 

For example, a recent trial of this tool gave results thus.

For direct traffic, 33.9% of users, 35.1% of new users, 35.4% of sessions, 34.5% of transactions, and 32.9% of the revenue came from the home page analyzed. We could make a case that up to 63.1% of the transactions and 63.5% of the site's revenue can be attributed to direct traffic from long URLs, and it is from organic search traffic. This would boost the number of transactions from organic search from, let's say, 401 to a total of about 1,226. The total revenue will also enjoy an increase from approx. $17,468 to about $60,600. 

This is another new way we measure SEO results. 

Search console provides some useful information but

Search console still provides data on the average search position, impressions, clicks, and CTRs for the top 5,000 search queries. However, it would mean a great deal if Google can provide more data on a larger number of search queries. For example, it would be amazing if the search console is able to connect data in the Queries Report to transactions and the revenue for e-commerce sites. Or connect the goal value and goal conversions for other sites. This would provide nourishing information for SEO professionals in many ways. 

One way is that it will help us add campaign parameters to URLs in our content and press releases so that we can track its results in Google Analytics. This technique can be used to test optimized and unoptimized multimedia releases. After running the results of these two tests, we realize that more often than not, the optimized multimedia releases generate more times the revenue than it costs. This is another way we measure SEO results. 

By connecting data in the Queries Report to transactions and revenue for e-commerce, we can get good valuable intel on how well each website is functioning. 

What is the benefit of getting impressions and visibility in no click searches?

Today, half to two-thirds of the searches in your industry don't end up generating clicks. And while this may be a novel problem for SEO experts, it is a classic problem for PR people. Since all other approaches seem to yield little or no results, we've begun using surveys to measure the benefits of getting visibility and impressions from the public. By tweaking the traditional construct a little bit, SEO professionals benefit from visibility and impression alone. By asking survey questions such as:
  • Have you heard of… 
  • Will you buy or consider… 
  • Are you going to recommend…
We are able to generate detailed insights into what influence no-click searches have on the minds and lives of search engine users. 

Today, we can combine tools such as:
  • Google forms to survey customers. 
  • Google Opinion rewards for surveying iOS devices. 
  • Google Survey.
Having a pre-launch survey provides a baseline to conduct a more meaningful post-launch survey. 

This is another new way to measure SEO results if you are able to persuade the board members to cuff up about $1,080 for two Google surveys before and after major SEO campaigns. 


These new ways to measure SEO provide you with the adequate cover on rainy days caused by no click searches. These days board members expect to see great results at the end of each analytic result, but as you have known, no click searches stand in the way of that as they do not count on traditional analytic reports. 

However, by allowing us to analyze your website with more advanced approaches that focus on granular details, we are able to tell you just how well your website functions. We can point out which areas need more work and how much needs to be spent developing your website. 

In the right hands, you have nothing to worry about. At Semalt, we have well-established teams of professionals who go to great lengths in ensuring we provide actionable results. 

Get in touch with us today. 

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