How verticalization and zero-click will impact local search in 2020

In a recent post on the SparkToro blog, Moz founder and search guru Rand Fishkin predicted that 2020 will be the year Google is transformed “from everyone’s search engine to everyone’s competitor.”

Fishkin cites Google’s monopoly on web search and the trend toward zero-click searches, then outlines a dizzying range of examples to prove his case, from dictionaries like Merriam-Webster to lyrics sites like Genius, from news sites like USNews and FiveThirtyEight to travel sites like Expedia and Kayak … and the list goes on.

Restaurant recommendations, weather, celebrity net worth, video games: just about every vertical you can think of has been impacted by a few related threads in Google’s recent development:

  • Featured answers
  • Knowledge cards
  • Verticalized search experiences
  • Zero-click transactions (Reserve with Google)
  • Transactions further down the funnel (Google Shopping, Google Travel)
  • Carousels
  • Local packs

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