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Coronavirus impact on search marketing

What is the Impact of Coronavirus on Search Marketing?

With the coronavirus on a spree, humans are under threat across the world. But, its impact is not just limited to the health of humans. It is crucial to consider its consequences on different sectors, especially marketing. While it may be difficult to predict the severity and depth of its impact, there are a lot of speculations on the current marketing traditions.

In this blog, we have thrown light on the impact of coronavirus on search marketing and how you can get the maximum benefit from the trending opportunities as a marketer.

Impact of coronavirus on search marketing

From home shopping trend

If you are a keen observer and researcher, you might have come across the videos of the deserted streets of Wuhan. Most cities of China and now more and more cities across the world as the virus is spreading all over, have announced a market shutdown.

With the virus spreading so fast, online purchase is the only solution for meeting our daily needs. People are reluctant to leave their shop and homes.

Cancellations of conferences and business meet

Conferences and business meetings are cancelled. Considering the latest update, the Rakuten Advertising cancelled their upcoming DealMaker London event scheduled to be held on April 1, 2020.

Similarly, Google cancelled the CloudNext conference to be held in San Francisco on April 6, 2020. The digital giant also cancelled its Las Vegas event in March.

Travel and tourism market to suffer

According to the reports by the IAC Chairman, Expedia is likely to earn $30-$40 million less due to the adverse effects of coronavirus. People are cancelling their travel reservations to protect themselves from exposure to the deadly virus.

Travel is a crucial niche of affiliate marketing. Moreover, it is also affecting the businesses in hospitality and restaurant niches.

Increased product shortages

Countries having trade relations with China are experiencing massive shortage in import of goods and products. Oakland, CA is a leading port of entry for the goods from China. As per the circulating reports, over 20% of ships scheduled to reach Oakland is cancelled. Similarly, the hold on unloading of Chinese goods in various other countries has led to product shortages.

Less supplies indicates less inventory.

Based on the Harvard Business Review, “We predict that the peak of the impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains will occur in mid-March, forcing thousands of companies to throttle down or temporarily shut assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Europe. The most vulnerable companies are those which rely heavily or solely on factories in China for parts and materials. The activity of Chinese manufacturing plants has fallen in the past month and is expected to remain depressed for months.”

Los Angeles is experiencing a similar situation as CS ports as there is over 35% of cancellations as per the reports of the Wall Street Journal.

Eventually, the product shortages will affect the merchants selling Chinese goods and their affiliates. Not just this, marketers who are dependent on their sales of China-made products through Amazon affiliate will also suffer.

Impact of Coronavirus on SEO consulting firms

The general notion of SEO in the search marketing community is all about improving their website ranking on Google. But, they miss to note the fact that the ultimate goal is to boost sales through high ranking.

Even if your website sits on the #1 rank on the search engine pages of Google, it won’t bring you any good if there are no sales. Go to a flashback of the 2008 recession when sales collapsed across a large scale of industries.

The same tends to happen due to the outbreak of coronavirus and will affect search marketing ultimately. Client are dropping off as they are not able to pay for SEO consulting. Though the numbers is not so high as it was back then during recession, but experts expect it to increase in the upcoming days.

Suggested actions for businesses

If you are a business owner and want to take complete advantage of the opportunity, keep the following things in mind:

  • Have a regular review of your search query reports, prepare a list of search queries that consumes only cost without leading to your objective and form a judgement on whether it is wise to stop the keywords, add negatives, etc.
  • Optimize the target keywords well to ensure that they have enough impression to have solid presence online, consistently driving results.

If you are not interested to have any additional advantage of the situation, follow these steps:

  • You still need to review your search queries well to make sure any unwanted traffic is not getting driven to your website. If you see this happening, add relevant keywords as negatives.
  • Be attentive if the campaigns cover a wide range of topics as your target is the common mass audience.
  • As the chances of the medical solutions for the virus tends to shift and impact the search needs, all the businesses should keep an update of the news related to coronavirus regularly to get an idea of the potential needs in improving their business through search marketing.

Interesting fact: Searches for the keyword ‘mask’, has been increased drastically in South Korea and Japan as the information about masks protecting from the virus are doing circulations all around. However, this boost in the search interest is nowhere near Hong Kong and Taiwan. It is because people in these areas use masks regularly.


Whatever be the circumstances of the threatening coronavirus, we need to be prepared for any kind of uncertainty in context of our health, business, earnings and other day-to-day activities.