The coronavirus crisis has changed the future of society and the economy, being especially notable in sectors such as hotels, travel, and even supermarkets. SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) has also changed, a modality focused on improving visibility in search engines such as Google. The task of taking users from the Google search engine to a specific web page is experiencing a real earthquake these weeks: from absolute crashes in searches such as " cheap flights " - since 2004, there has never been such a drop in interest for this word key - up to unimaginable uploads for searches like " masks ".
Not even the most seasoned digital marketing experts were prepared for something like that. Web analytics tools made it possible to obtain detailed reports on users' search intent, and develop future strategies based on them, but what no one counted on is that overnight the world would lose interest in travel, hotels, restaurants, and a host of activities that involve breaking social distancing. These search drops added to the increases experienced by searches related to home activities ( movies to watch online, sports at home, cooking recipes ...), have completely altered the search volume records of the so-called keywords (keywords that users use to do their searches).
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Google is changing the rules of positioning by introducing new factors that come to put an order in searches related to COVID-19. These rules for now only affect this issue, but there is the possibility that some changes will remain after this crisis. A company as marked by the controversies of fake news as Google has not wanted to risk an iota in this crisis, deciding to reshape its results page from one day to the next to avoid giving room to false news about coronavirus.
All these changes open a new horizon for SEO that is coming into the media. Google is taking note of the lessons it is learning from this crisis, many of which will help it improve its current algorithm in the future.
Of the changes that Google has introduced in recent weeks, one of the most relevant is the "box" of Local News results to show local news in searches related to the coronavirus. It is a new widget that adds to the Featured News widget that until now was already displayed by default in any search with current news; For about a month, they have both been living on the same results page.
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As explained by Google, it is a change aimed at highlighting COVID-19 news that directly concerns the user due to the location in which it is located. A user searching for coronavirus news from Dubai, for example, will see –in addition to national news– a section focused exclusively on news that affects this community.
A notorious move by Google during these weeks has been the opening of Google Shopping to free results: in times of confinement, the boom in electronic commerce has led Google to allow the incorporation of organic results in a tool that until now had been exclusive of payment. Google Shopping is Google's product search tool, it allows you to connect sellers (online stores) with users interested in buying a product. It was a payment tool, but for a few weeks, it has allowed any e-commerce to upload its product inventory at no cost. The results featured on the main page of Google will continue to be paid, but the "Shopping" tab will give way to anyone who wants to sell their products through the search engine.
Different time slots to publish content, longer time spent on the web, movements in the interests of users. Google search data has changed overnight around the world. We spend many more hours at home, and with that, we search the internet differently. The volume of searches that could have the keyword " movies laughing, " for example, has nothing to do compared to his best historical moments (coinciding with summer seasons).
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