How COVID Has Transformed the World of Search
2020 has been one heck of a ride. With more people than ever concerned about disease on a global scale, a variety of major precautions are being taken by everyday people. This includes the impact on individual and collective behaviors – with the effects being second only in scale to the global economic downturn of the 2000s.
What exactly does this have to do with search engines and SEO, you ask? As it turns out, quite a bit. The nature of search has been impacted substantially by COVID and its resulting impacts. Because of this, let’s look at what changes businesses and brands are now facing in search.
Major Impacts to Mobile Search
Arguably one of the most important changes in internet trends over the past year, COVID’s reality has meant far more people either working from home or being at home day after day. Given that on-the-go internet use by default almost always utilizes mobile search, the reduced amount of internet usage away from home has had a profound impact on mobile search usage.
It is estimated that fewer than ten percent of workers utilized work from home strategies prior to COVID. As of today, that number is well north of fifty percent. As such, people who would otherwise be using mobile devices at work to browse the internet or fetch details while on-the-go are instead using home devices such as desktop and laptop computers.
As more people are pinging search engines from these devices instead of mobile devices, the amount of mobile search traffic in general has plummeted. Some estimates suggest that in the US alone, mobile search traffic has declined by half over the past 8 months.
Major Increases in Search Volume
With more people than ever working from home, the number of searches being performed has skyrocketed. Historically, those working in traditional settings had less time to use search engines for various purposes: that obviously has changed with COVID. Most findings suggest that search engine volume has doubled over the course of 2020.
These individuals are pinging search engines for everything from work assistance to leisure and entertainment. The end result is not only has search volume increased, but search volumes for most SERPs and niches have, too.
For brands, competing in this new terrain may prove to be difficult. The need for additional content is now more instrumental than ever, as a greater number of searches mean individual brands could otherwise be missing out on increasingly larger shares of the search engine pie (in terms of traffic and rankings).
Trustworthy Content Is More Essential
Authoritative content has been a critical component of SEO for many years, but with the above-mentioned factors thanks to COVID, it is now even more important. The sheer amount of content bombarding search engines thanks to the increased search volume means each piece of content must be optimized for trustworthiness.
Failure to do so can allow the competition to bypass you in terms of rankings and visibility during a time in which there are more people using search than ever. Don’t let it happen!
While COVID won’t last forever, its disruptive nature may continue to affect search for a long time. Keep in mind these changes and be sure to adapt your search strategy to account for them.