Emerging Search Trends and Behaviors in the time of Corona

It’s no news that businesses and consumer behavior have seen a major shift under the impact of the coronavirus.

While some businesses have flourished, others have suffered a slowdown.

Here are some emerging trends and search behaviors that were shared by Alexis Sanders, Senior SEO Manager at Merkle, in a video chat with the Search Engine Land.

1. Daily Essentials Top the Chart

Search terms related to grocery have seen a drastic surge. As social distancing increased, a greater number of people have avoided eating out and prefer to cook their meals at home. 

Resultantly, keywords related to online groceries, and grocery delivery have seen a YoY increase of 446%.

2. Bulk and Wholesale Suppliers gain from the Fear Factor

Fear of a long-term lockdown or, that of having to go into self-quarantine has made users search for bulk suppliers. Brands like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club have been searched significantly more than they were searched for in March 2019.

Interestingly, Costco’s search volume is up by 82%. This is only 5% less than that during Black Friday 2019.

3. Work from Home Fuels Search for Online Conferencing Platforms

As businesses allowed employees to work from home, web conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Free Conference Call witnessed an unprecedented increase in search.

These tools hit their highest search interest in the week ending on March 21. Skype registered a YoY increase of 270% while the search for Zoom catapulted to see a YoY increase of 1057%.

4. And the Search Losers are…

As can be expected, enterprises that call for social mingling such as travel, entertainment, dining out, events, etc, have lost people’s interest.

Interest in hotels has dropped by 37%. Keywords like “Disneyworld,” “Six Flags”, and “Universal Studios” have lost popularity by 21%, 68%, and 73%, respectively.

Dine-in restaurants have seen a similar fate.

But Search Continues…

Changes in search interests are implications of the humbling times that mankind, today, lives in.

In these times of emergency, the search behavior reflects the consumer interests. It shows areas/segments that customers are now focussing on.

People would prefer to prepare for a long lockdown, if needed, to fight the imminent health danger. The decline in search for leisure activities, and the surge in search for essential needs, and tools to deliver on the work front is a mere reflection of the changed mindset.

In these testing times, businesses the world over, both local and global have suffered a setback. Those that will rebound will have to adjust and make themselves useful the way the customers perceive apt.


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