how covid19 has affected search resultsCOVID-19 came in like an absolute wrecking ball this year and has permanently changed the world as we know it. Our personal and professional lives have been flipped upside down, and nearly every industry around the planet has been impacted.

Even the digital world isn’t safe from the ripple effect of the coronavirus, and the search landscape as a whole has evolved since the start of the pandemic. As a result, we should continue to see changes in the months and years to come.

Google has rolled out some new features in response to COVID. For example, here’s a snapshot of the new coronavirus related features on the SERP. You can see a sticky menu on the left-hand side, and if you keep scrolling down you’ll find top stories, local news, cases overview, and more.

impact of covid19 on search results

The number of searches surrounding topics like remote work, video conferencing, leisure activities, and the COVID exit phase has gone up exponentially in the past two months. For this reason, it’ll be important to stay on top of Google Trends as 2020 comes to an end and we ring in 2021.

Google also announced that adding Special Announcement structured data is beneficial for any COVID-related announcements on one’s website, as well as Local Business structured data regarding hour changes. Speaking of local…

Local SEO

Local SEO is more important now than ever before because of COVID-19. Users are relying on Google My Business profiles for updated information, especially since most people are staying local and not traveling. Check out our list of Local SEO best practices every business should be following at this time:

  • Update Google My Business. A Google My Business (GMB) listing provides better visibility to your users and is especially important for local businesses who have different office hours or are offering delivery services. Keep your listing up to date with announcements, photos, blog posts, and any COVID-related info. Respond to reviews using some of your business’s target keywords in regards to service or product areas.
  • Create Location-based Landing Pages. If your business has more than one location, create separate location-based landing pages that you can optimize with a local keyword and add local business structured data too.
  • Be Consistent. Make sure your business name, address, and phone number are consistent online. This includes your website, GMB, and any other listing site.
  • Reviews. Add reviews from GMB or TripAdvisor, or testimonials from your clients, to your website. Reviews show Google that you are trustworthy and boost your local presence.
  • Add Quality Content to your Website. It’s important to regularly update your website with good, quality content! There’s no such thing as too much content as long as it is unique and relevant to your target audience. Don’t be afraid to repurpose, republish, and repost the content you develop as well!

If nothing else, make sure your local SEO is on point during this time. Respond to reviews, update your Google My Business listing, and add unique content to your site.