SEO Updates 24th Mar 2020
1. Evolution of Google’s Corona Results
A recent article by one of the search engine marketing publishers traces the evolution of the search results for the term ‘corona’.
It is interesting to note how the search results have changed from being brand specific to being more general, to meet the increasing demand for information on the virus outbreak.
Take a look at its evolution calendar across less than a month.
Feb 25, 2020
A map of Corona, California appeared above the top stories carousel. The Wikipedia page for the city was the third organic listing on the SERP.
The knowledge panel had the beer brand occupying the space with some more results on the page related to it.
Mar 2, 2020
As the COVID cases marched into March, the SERP took it with greater seriousness. The right-sidebar knowledge panel disappeared.
To bring more relevant information to the general public, ‘Help and information’ and ‘Safety tips’ box appeared between the top stories and organic listings.
Corona beer’s organic listings had crawled up to higher spots and still showed on the page.
On the other hand, the Corona city’s website had been pushed down and other related results disappeared.
Mar 9, 2020
The page still had the SOS alert. The beer brand and the city website had a spot on the page.
The carousel was full of COVID related articles.
Mar 20, 2020
The SOS alert was removed.
A COVID-19 alert section started to show up on the right sidebar that included symptoms, prevention, treatments, and other related information.
The section also included stats on the virus-related epidemic.
The other organic results were also related to the virus. Corona beer’s sites and Merriam-Webster’s page on the ‘corona’ definition occupied the rest of the spots.
Thus, the results have evolved to answer the questions that users may have or, the information they may be seeking amidst the outbreak. Results that were earlier relevant have been pushed down the SERP.
2. Annoying Paywalls keeping Users from the latest News
If paywalls at sites are preventing you from accessing the latest Corona news, you are not alone.
Hundreds of users have found themselves at the mercy of news sites that ask for payment to read the whole story/news item.
It seems like there is not going to be an alternative to it. Danny Sullivan said that Google will not do anything to help searchers evade these sites in results.
According to him, since some of these sites depend on subscriptions, bypassing them may mean a loss of business for them.