For the last two months, the whole SEO community has been talking about the latest COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and its impact on organic traffic and performance. It has been seen that there has been a significant dip in the organic performance of websites across different verticals. And at the same time, there are also many verticals where a notable rise in organic traffic is observed. There are various new Search Engines Results Page (SERP) features that one can see emerging on different search engines such as Google.
With the rising nervousness and uncertainties in the economy due to the COVID-19, there have been drastic effects on different businesses and industries. Many industry experts stated that significant changes in the organic traffic, as well as revenues, were seen from 12th to 16th March 2020.
One of the interesting developments of the pandemic has been that the result page of Google has started stimulating many new panels related to ‘coronavirus’. These panels provide users with information and data related to the disease. The content is generally taken from the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the Centre for Disease Control, and many other local government bodies.
Google has also started displaying an ‘SOS Alert’ panel to indicate a state of emergency across the globe. This is one of the most effective ways to address the COVID-19 emergency online and create a sense of urgency among the users. Another interesting SERP feature is when a user searches for something related to ‘coronavirus’ the safety tips that need to be followed during this crisis is displayed on Google. These tips showcase a video that instructs the searchers on how to wash hands properly or how to sanitise them along with other tips taken from the WHO website.
Additionally, an ‘Affected Area’ panel is also displayed, which shows the areas that have been affected by this pandemic on a world map. One can easily see on this map how the pandemic is spreading across the world and its density in different regions of the globe.
Moreover, before other organic results related to the search are displayed, Google also shows a ‘symptoms’ panel where one can quickly check out the common symptoms of COVID-19. This list of symptoms is also pulled from the WHO website.
How Will Coronavirus Affect The Trends Long-Term?
COVID-19 is being termed as one of the biggest trends in Google’s search history. People are not only searching for information related to coronavirus, but national leaders such as Narendra Modi and Donald Trump are also looking at the information related to the stock market.
Long-tail keywords have also started gaining much importance. For instance, Pandemic vs epidemic, are there any test centres in my area, best movies/series to watch in quarantine, is there any shop open, and much more like that!
Such types of searches can put the marketers under a lot of pressure as one needs to be careful and thoughtful while finding the correct target keyword and creating a proper and effective strategy.
It is also possible that search queries related to COVID-19 would continue for a long time along with combination searches such as future banking, how will travelling reopens, future of schools post COVID-19, and much more like that!
How Should Businesses and SEOs Respond at this time?
As the number of people working from home has increased more than ever, a daily commute to work is no longer a necessity. Businesses and SEOs also have more time now to formulate and execute their digital marketing strategies. Whether it is creating content for a sanitiser and mask brand or an SEO marketing plan for a global media agency, here is enough time to plan and develop digital marketing strategies.
According to various experts, businesses and websites should stay ahead of the curve and apply different ideas and techniques to keep the website updated as well as optimised.