How the Coronavirus Pandemic Affects Search and What SEOs Should Do


The Coronavirus global pandemic is still plaguing most parts of the world and it doesn’t look like recovery will happen any time soon. As the virus spreads in the world, the global economy is also negatively affected. Businesses having to close shop or potential customers not coming out of their homes in fear of being infected has made digital the primary way of interacting and satisfying the needs of the customers.

These are hard times for most, but businesses also have the capability to adapt and change their current strategy to reach out to their customers by going digital. As the reliance on digital and search continues to increase amidst difficult times, it’s not long before businesses realize the importance of going digital and having great search presence and that’s where we SEOs do our part. 

That being said, how exactly does the Coronavirus pandemic affect the way people search? Let’s find out.

Coronavirus’ Effect on Various Search Industries

Automotive Industry

The automotive industry has been experiencing a massive drop since the pandemic started. This is fully understandable since automobiles cannot be delivered straight to a customer’s house. This necessitates that people that want to buy cars have to go to the dealership personally. 

With most countries experiencing lockdowns, the automotive industry is on a standstill as well. Just one of our automobile clients experienced a drop close to 50% since the pandemic. 50% may not seem a lot, but when you take into account the price of a single automobile sold, this causes massive damage to their income as a car manufacturer or dealership. 

google analytics automotive industry graph screenshot

Google Search Console graph screenshot

Ecommerce Industry

There’s certain volatility in the eCommerce industry since not all of the products being sold online are in-demand given the situation. However, for businesses that sell products that are needed by customers, massive spikes in sales and conversions can be expected. But for most eCommerce websites, there are more instances of their sales going down such as this client of ours:

google analytics ecommerce revenue drop screenshot

But we also have eCommerce clients that have experienced massive uplifts in their sales during this Coronavirus pandemic. 

google analytics ecommerce spike screenshot

Health and Wellness Industry

For websites in the health and wellness industry, it’s more common to see uptrends rather than downtrends. Since the Coronavirus pandemic is a health and wellness crisis, users rely on search to keep updated and inform themselves regarding best practices, medical advice, and overall health and wellness info. 

This also includes pharmaceutical/drug-related websites. Of course, you have to put in the effort for E-A-T, but once things are done, users also flock to these websites during these heavy times. Uptrends are more common in these industries in search.

health and wellness industry google analytics uptrend screenshot

Google’s Initiative for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Since it’s widely known that Google is the world’s leading search engine, they created knowledge panels and even a dedicated page for all the information and resources that a user might need for the pandemic.

Their page is primarily focusing on increasing awareness and understanding of the Coronavirus pandemic. They also included resources, tips, and trends with regard to the current search terms used for the pandemic. The page can be accessed through

Google Coronavirus page

One feature that I liked on their page is the incorporation of data and insights using Google Trends and Google Maps as the base for the data shown on the page. 

Data and Insights Google Coronavirus Page Screenshot

Google Maps Coronavirus page screenshot

All of these are accessible through the mobile version as well. It’s important for users to keep informed about the recent happenings and Google is doing its part to bring factual and data-based information to the users.

What SEOs Can Do Amidst the Pandemic

In the simplest terms, what SEOs can do during the pandemic is to keep doing what they’re doing. But this includes increasing efforts on tapping into different businesses that can use the benefits that SEO brings. 

Times are hard and businesses are not exceptions to the crisis. This happens to increase the importance of having a great search presence since this is the next best thing to having their customers physically go to their stores. Aside from that, search is MEASURABLE and DATA-DRIVEN. User behavior can be researched, investigated, and understood. This means that we SEOs have one of the best tools for businesses to tap into a massive market that they couldn’t reach before. 

Another thing that necessitates businesses to make the move to digital and search is that even if we’re in the middle of a crisis, users/customers still need products and services. YOUR business might be the one they’re looking for, but without being visible in search, there’s no way for the users to find your business. 

Lastly, when things go back to normal and we’ve recovered from the pandemic, the investments made by businesses into SEO will not go to waste. We’re still in a digital age where convenience, efficiency, and speed is what most users look for. So, if businesses don’t show up on the first page, that’s a massive loss of opportunity for them.

Key Takeaway

In essence, what SEOs can do is to communicate how important SEO is for a business, and what’s left is for us to continue doing what we’re good at. The current issue is proving to be more of a challenge and it’s up to us to keep businesses afloat amidst the crisis.

As SEOs, we should do our part. How has the Coronavirus affected your websites? Comment them down below and let’s talk!

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.