A Google Update: How Google Search Has Changed Due To COVID-19

With COVID-19 affecting millions of people worldwide, the amount of COVID-19 related Google searches is ever increasing. The sorts of phrases that users are searching for could never have been predicted just a few months back.

Google is playing a crucial role in this pandemic, as many people are turning to the platform to find out important updates. It’s also good to know that Google has the responsibility to penalise fake news and promote valuable information.

In this article, we look at some of the many changes that Google Search is undergoing during this tumultuous period.

The Difference In Search Terms

The sorts of things that people are currently searching for on Google may not surprise you, as you may be making some of these very searches yourself.

While the top ‘how to’ search in April 2019 was ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, the top ‘how to’ search on Google for April 2020 was ‘how to make a mask with fabric’. Some other very popular COVID-19 related searches such as:

  • How to make hand sanitizer
  • How to cut your own hair
  • Where to buy toilet paper
  • What is Zoom
  • How many people have died of COVID-19

With so many businesses closing their doors, many searchers are also trying to find out which businesses in their area are still operating and whether they are offering deliveries or not.

Google Updates

With COVID-19 forcing many countries to close their borders entirely, most people’s lives have become far more location dependent. To account for this, Google is putting local news at the front and centre of Google News.

Google has also introduced a number of COVID-19-related features, which will affect which pages come up top in search results, including:

  • Updates in sensitivity policy by penalising pages that exploit and capitalise on death and conflict.
  • Offering Special Announcements Structured Data for area-specific updates.
  • Expanding news coverage in additional languages.
  • Giving recommendations for health authority sites to make their info more public.
  • Creation of community mobility reports.
  • The introduction of the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to help support local news outlets.

With the ever-changing, and confusing times we are facing during this pandemic, it can be difficult to know what changes to make to your SEO strategy. The team at The Weblab is staying on top of all the latest Google updates so that we can offer effective SEO strategies and online marketing solutions during this time. Call us today and allow us to help you align your brand with the current global situation.