What Does a World With Zero Search Results Looks Like? [New Data]

Imagine a world with zero search results. As it turns out, Google is moving toward making that world a reality.

Google has been experimenting with a ‘zero search results’ page — where the search engine provides a single answer to queries about local time and mathematical conversions or calculations — e.g., “8 tbsp in tsp” — without displaying any other search results.

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As reported by SEO Roundtable, this is not the first time users have reported seeing the zero search results landscape. The feature was first tested in March, received poor reviews, then briefly appeared again in September due to what Google called “a glitch.”

But now, Google has confirmed that it has rolled out the zero search results feature on mobile, telling SEO Roundtable that it contributes to quicker load times, among other user experience improvements.

So, where exactly do users weigh in on the world of zero search results — and what does it mean for the work that marketers do? We did some research to find out.

How Do Users Feel About a Zero Search Results World?

We asked over 4,200 people across the U.S., UK, and Canada for their reactions to Google’s new zero search results feature. First, we explained what it is — “the search engine will provide a single answer to queries — such as, ‘What time is it in New York?’ — without displaying any other search results.”

Then, we asked them to measure how this would impact their search experience in a few areas — such as their ability to find information, the accuracy of the single answers they might receive, and others.

Here’s what we found out.

Even Exposure

We wanted to gauge how many users had actually come across this feature — so we began by asking how many of them had seen it.

There was a somewhat even split between those who said they had come across a zero search results page and those who hadn’t. However, most respondents — nearly 60% — said they hadn’t yet seen it. 

Have you encountered this feature on Google before_

Data collected with Lucid

Ease of Finding Information

Then, we wanted to know if users thought a zero search results feature would make it easier — or more difficult — to find information.

How do you think this will impact your ability to find information you’re seeking online with Google_

Data collected with Lucid

The impression of a zero results world seems to be generally positive, with about half of respondents indicating that they think it would make finding information on Google easier.

The Accuracy Element

Next, we wanted to find out how users think the zero search results feature would impact the accuracy of the information they might receive in response to a query. 

We phrased this question two ways. First, we asked users, “How do you think this will impact the accuracy of the search results?”

How do you think this will impact the accuracy of the search results_

Data collected with Lucid

When the question was phrased this way, the response was generally positive, with most people (close to 80%) indicating that they believe a zero search results page would generally make the information more accurate — or equally accurate to a traditional search results page.

Then, we asked how much users would trust the information they received on a zero search results page.

How does this impact your likelihood to trust the accuracy of Google's search results_

Data collected with Lucid

Interestingly, the positive sentiment here was sightly lower — with 20% fewer respondents indicating that they would be more or equally likely to trust the accuracy of information received on a zero search results page.

Still, the positive response outweighed the negative, with less than a quarter of participants saying they would trust a zero search results page less.

Time Spent on Google

Finally, we wanted to know if a zero search results page would impact the amount of time users spend on Google.

How will this impact the amount of time you spend using Google_

Data collected with Lucid

Overall, the prospect of a zero-search-results-driven world doesn’t appear to have much impact on how much time people will spend on Google, with half of respondents indicating they would continue use the search engine as much as they would otherwise.

It’s worth noting that one of the reasons Google provided for introducing a zero search results page is quicker access to answers. Over a third of users said they might actually use Google more with the onset of this feature — suggesting that people would respond positively to the ability to perform more searches in a smaller amount of time.

What a Zero Search Results World Looks Like for Marketers

But even if a zero search results feature solves for the user, what impact could it have on marketers and content creators — especially those behind sites that specialized in unit or time conversations?

“Zero search results is the new extreme in search,” says HubSpot Head of SEO Victor Pan. “Remember when it used to be just 10 search results? Then it sometimes became just seven, then folks started seeing three-to-five search results on the first page, and now we’re at the point where zero could happen.”

It’s that evolution of what search results look like, Pan says, that points to a need for marketers to look at search results from a multi-dimensional perspective.

“What this means for marketers in the future is that, if you prioritize by just one piece of search — like volume or rankings,” he explains, “you could be getting an extremely inaccurate picture of a target search term or keyword.”

So instead of looking at search terms and keywords through a narrow scope, Pan advises marketers to prepare for a more widespread presence of zero results by focusing on intent.

First, Pan says to consider the users who might be searching for these target terms or keywords, and what they’re hoping to accomplish by searching for them — their intent. Does the intent behind that search actually present an opportunity for your SEO-related goals, like visitors, rankings, or brand awareness?

In other words, Pan asks:

“What’s the total opportunity for that intent?”

A follow-up question, then, concerns whether or not multiple search results would actually serve the user’s intent and goals in searching for a particular term or keyword. 

“You need to know … whether it’s helpful for users to have more than one source tell them the answer,” Pan says, or if the results for those terms and keywords are best served via a single result.

Finally, Pan suggests researching what the results for these target terms and keywords look like, perhaps by way of searching for them yourself before optimizing for them.

“How many search results and features — like featured snippets or ‘people also ask’ — show up for specific keywords?” Pan challenges marketers to ask. “These are clues to what Google thinks the user’s intent is.”

And by learning how Google interprets a user’s intent, you can begin to understand that of the audience you’re trying to draw to your content — and, therefore, if certain terms and keywords aren’t worth pursuing, especially in a zero search results world.

5 Guaranteed Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction on Your Team

To improve your team’s productivity, reduce turnover rates, and drive increased revenue for your company, it’s critical you take the time to focus on your employees’ job satisfaction.

If you’re wary about the tangible benefits of job satisfaction, consider this — happiness has shown to increase employee productivity by at least 12%. Undoubtedly, your company will grow faster if you invest in your employees’ happiness.

Additionally, happy employees means lower turnover rates, and a better workplace culture. If you want to keep your top talent and nurture them for the long-term, it’s critical you find ways to ensure they’re satisfied with their jobs.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free and relatively easy strategies to boost your team’s satisfaction — so why not try to make your employees happier? Here, we’ll explore five guaranteed ways to boost job satisfaction to ensure more success in the long-run.

But first, let’s explore what job satisfaction means for employees today.

Click here to download our free guide to hiring and training a team of  all-stars.

The Definition of Job Satisfaction

While we know what job satisfaction is — essentially, being happy with one’s job — it’s difficult to discern where and how satisfaction in the workplace arises. Do people who feel satisfied in their careers just get lucky? Are they naturally happy? Is it their paycheck, their sense of purpose, or both?

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines Job Satisfaction as, “The feeling of pleasure and achievement that you experience in your job when you know that your work is worth doing.”

This definition is supported by a global survey run by LinkedIn and Imperative, which found that 74% of job candidates want a job where they feel their work matters.

Besides purpose, there are other elements that lead to job satisfaction, including autonomy, flexibility, recognition, a sense of belonging, and a good relationship with one’s manager.

Ultimately, job satisfaction means how much an employee likes her job, and how willing she is to stay with her company. While it might be impossible to make every employee happy, it’s critical you work hard to boost job satisfaction for as many employees as possible. This will help lower turnover and decrease money spent on recruitment and new hire training. Additionally, happy employees will be more successful, which is critical for your company’s bottom line. 

Now that we’ve defined job satisfaction, let’s take a look at some strategies you can implement to improve employee happiness immediately.

How to Boost Job Satisfaction

1. Give consistent praise, and focus on impact.

Office Vibe’s State of Employee Engagement research report found 63% of employees don’t feel they get enough praise. By consistently telling your employees when they’ve done a good job, you’ll make them feel more proud of their work, and provide them with incentive to work harder in the future.

Additionally, as previously stated, employees need to feel like their work matters. Rather than simply saying, “Good job on that Facebook campaign,” consider explaining to your employee how her work makes a difference for your team, and the company, as a whole. Your employees will feel more indispensable if you focus on how their work relates to long-term company goals.

For instance, you might say, “I’d like to take the time to thank you for the effort you put into your last Facebook campaign. The campaign helped attract an audience of over 17,000, and 12% of that audience turned out to be quality leads, which is incredible. Additionally, your leadership and input helped shape the direction of our brand’s voice on Facebook, both for this campaign and for future campaigns down the road.”

With this praise, you’ve demonstrated to your employee that her work matters to the company’s bottom line, and to the future success of your team. This positive reinforcement could go a long way towards increasing her job satisfaction.

2. Offer career development, training, or education opportunities.

Nowadays, career development is no longer just a nice perk. In fact, a LinkedIn Workplace Learning report found 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career. By offering career development and actively seeking out opportunities to help your employees grow, you’re signaling you care about their long-term success.

Additionally, training your employees and allowing them to expand their skillset will help your team become more successful long-term, as well. For instance, HubSpot offers master classes, which are classes in which employees teach other employees skills such as video production or SEO. As employees gain these skills they can apply them to their role, making them more well-rounded and innovative.

A Leadership Training program is also a chance for you to prepare your employees to become managers and team leaders down-the-road. This can reduce turnover and enable your employees to grow with the company.

3. Show you care about your employee’s mental and physical well-being.

Your employees can’t be satisfied in the workplace if they feel they’re sacrificing physical or mental well-being. To boost job satisfaction, it’s critical you make an effort to show employees’ that their health matters. Plus, if your employees’ take the time to recharge throughout the day, they’ll be more productive on the job, as well.

To show you care about your employees’ physical well-being, consider how you might incorporate physical activity into the workplace. It’s okay if you don’t have the budget to install a gym — simply creating a culture in which it’s okay to leave early to catch a workout class, or do yoga during lunch, can help. Ultimately, it’s about showing your employees that you understand physical activity should be a priority.

Additionally, it’s important you create opportunities to reduce stress and promote mental well-being. For instance, perhaps you offer flexible hours, so employees can avoid a stressful commute in the morning. Alternatively, you might create lunchtime mindfulness sessions, like Google, Nike, and Apple.

At the very least, take the time to check-in with employees and ask them how they’re feeling about their workload. If they seem exceptionally stressed, consider how you might help delegate tasks to help them get back on-track.

4. Foster an environment in which coworkers can bond and develop friendships.

Most people spend more time at work than they do with any of the most important people in their lives, including spouses, children, and friends. To boost job satisfaction, it’s critical you find ways to help your employees connect with one another and form genuine friendships.

To foster workplace connections, consider adding games or activities to your shared space — for instance, you might purchase a ping-pong table or wii to encourage employees to engage with one another. Alternatively, you might plan weekly “breaks” from work, like Friday happy hour or Monday team lunches.

It’s also important you plan regular team outings to get outside the office. Your employees are more likely to form authentic friendships outside the office, when they don’t feel they need to act as strictly professional. For instance, you might take them to an arcade, or baseball game. A new environment could help employees’ bond on a deeper level.

Additionally, it will help employees feel appreciated if you take the time to celebrate major milestones in their lives. For instance, you could gather a group for a coworker’s birthday, or another coworker’s engagement.

5. Conduct a job satisfaction survey.

Ultimately, you’ll never know if your strategies are working if you don’t regularly conduct surveys to see how happy and satisfied your employees are. Conducting job satisfaction surveys will help you see areas of improvement you might’ve otherwise missed.

Additionally, job satisfaction surveys show your employees that you care about how they feel. By allowing them to voice their opinion, you’re showing them they are important to the company.

Ensure your survey is anonymous, so employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns. The eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) is a good tool to measure employee engagement. Alternatively, you might create your own company survey using SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.

Job Satisfaction Statistics

To truly understand the measurable difference job satisfaction can make for your company, take a look at the following statistics.

  • Organizations with engaged employees outperform those with low employee engagement by 202% (Business2Community).
  • 83% of employees who are offered opportunities to take on new challenges are more likely to stay with their organization (ReportLinker).
  • 42% of millennials say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work (Udemy).
  • 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs (Gallup).
  • Over 80% of full-time workers are actively seeking or passively open to new job opportunities (Ajilon).
  • In a survey of 2,000 employees, 43% said corporate culture is the main reason they are looking for a new job (Hays).
  • 92% of employees said that would be more likely to stay with their job, if their bosses would show more empathy (Businesssolver).
  • Employees who feel they get to use the best strengths and abilities and work are 15% less likely to quit their job (Gallup). 

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