Google’s new ‘zero results’ gamble: What does it mean for content marketing?


After this week’s news that Google has actually launched zero search results for time, conversions and maths, Nathan Abbott, Content Manager at by Kaizen has conducted some research into what this means for the content marketing industry.


The research includes how to approach:

  • Mobile-first index

  • Featured snippets

  • Adapting visual content for Google scraping

Treating Google as the Consumer: The New Age of Content Marketing for the SERPs


Adhering to the whims and fancies of Google’s unpredictable nature can be a tasking ordeal for content creators around the world.

With recent changes including zero search results in the US, is it time that we actually addressed what the content marketing industry can actually do to survive?

New research by Kaizen has addressed the issues facing the content marketing industry, and how to successfully navigate them to still see great results.


Staying Mobile

Mobile web has been subject to immense change in recent times, and while the stats may prove daunting, the stakes have never been higher for producing valuable content on the platform.

  • In early 2016, 66% of searches on desktop produced clicks to an organic result, versus 60% on mobile.

  • Since then, while desktop web remains the same, for mobile, organic clicks dropped just under 20%, and no-click searches are now in the majority.

  • This rise suggests that users are getting all they need from Google without having to leave the page they’re on.

The response, however, should not be to disregard mobile web, but to prioritise it and find ways to optimise your work in a way that adheres to the biases Google shows towards certain things.

Featured Snippets

Making data instantly accessible for users is part and parcel of Google’s service with regard to SERPs. Google’s remarkable comprehension of what its users want is symbolised by additional features such as the featured snippet that sits in ‘page rank zero’.

  • Optimising for featured snippets allows your content to be scraped by Google and repurposed for the user, whether it be a paragraph, list or table.

  • Its presence in the SERPs appears to be more relevant than ever, with featured snippets and related questions appearing in 40% of queries according to HubSpot.

The best way to navigate featured snippets for an optimised content marketing strategy is to create data-led campaigns. For example, Kaizen created a campaign on the world’s most and least reliable airlines, which appeared in page rank zero through its coverage in reader’s Digest.

Adapting Visual Content

The sad fact of the matter is, the production of visual content that appeals to the nuances of Google’s scraping is not going to be possible for everyone given the varying nature of content - but it’s important to recognise where it’s possible.

There are still ways in which you can get any kind of content - whether video, infographic or article – ranking highly on Google. Fundamentally, it relies on answering a question people are asking.

If you do this successfully, you’ll have the content marketing strategy of the future!

By Nathan Abbott

Content Manager



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