A Look at How the Coronavirus Has Impacted Visible Organic Google Searches


Online behavior has changed quite drastically with the onset of lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 and coronavirus. In terms of SEO, Google has applied E-A-T to mitigate misinformation through expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness checks for searches. 

E-A-T has also been strictly applied to YMYL or your money–-your life website searches, which demonstrates higher safety levels for individuals. Google safety searches have also been impacted in other ways. Let’s find out how based on reports from expert SEO agencies.

More SERP methods to combat the coronavirus

Any search of the coronavirus is now accompanied by additional Google panels to provide objective information. More information enables individuals to protect themselves from misinformation that may negatively affect their YMYL. Panels contain data from credible sources such as the WHO, CDC and government departments to address this issue. 

Google also now offers a panel where more help and information can be accessed. Video instructions have been included to aid protection during the pandemic. A global map indicates the coronavirus status per country, to enhance this information, together with a panel informing readers of the symptoms linked with the virus.

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Coronavirus has altered organic visibility searches 

Sistrix is a new feature that has come into play following the pandemic as well. Both WHO and the CDC now enjoy top rankings in place of sites like WebMD and other popular medical sites that have now gone to page 4 from pages 1 and 2. 

Wikipedia joins the ranks of these private health websites. In short, the government and more credible medical sites have moved to top Google rankings to deliver the most credible information. 

Upward and downward movements of site visibility

Sistrix was also applied to determine the organic movements of U.S. sites from mid-January to mid-March, 2020, for various websites. Other elements such as the elections impacted movement, together with the coronavirus.

Improved site visibility for five websites encompassed dailyburn.com, verywellhealth.com, wellnessmama.com, realclearpolitics.com, and health.clevelandclinic.org. All of these sites’ visibility increase from between 80 and 300%.

Decreases in organic visibility ranged from 35 to 43% for cbsnews.com, vice.com, rxlist.com, my.clevelandclinic.org, and examine.com. 

What we can learn from this data

It can be anticipated that credible, official websites will take precedence in Google rankings because of the pandemic. However, other trends have also become visible. 

Sites like dailyburn.com have improved their rankings by providing useful material for those in quarantine. DIY information and environmentally useful cleaning methods by wellnessmama.com have also improved organically due to the quality of their content. 

Other websites related to wellness that serve their visitors have also experienced higher visibility because they help their customers to use healthy ways to keep themselves occupied. MindBodyGreen.com is one such site. Other sites that deliver accurate data about the coronavirus have also seen increases in popularity, like worldometer.com. 

Best practices are called for

Those sites that have not followed best practices have paid the price in decreased visibility because of sub-optimum E-A-T, and YMYL despite previously high credibility levels. Implement E-A-T and YMYL for related sites to achieve the best rankings. 

As per Danny Star, the local SEO expertproviding useful, accurate SEO content and data to maintain health is critical to improving organic search rankings at this time.