Is COVID-19 impacting Organic Search

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Issue #168
March 17th, 2020

Hey, lunch buddies. Wow. I’m a bit lost for words. COVID-19 is definitely causing a stir. Like many of you, I too am working remotely for the foreseeable future. Remote working a new thing for you? Aleyda Solis, remote worker in the SEO space, published a great post covering both the DO’s and DONT’s to maximize your remote experience.

I’m hopeful that we can all get through this as soon as humanly possible. Until then, please be safe and take care.

– Nick

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What you need to know

Is COVID-19 causing your organic search traffic to drop? [update: I published a full article on this]

In reviewing the analytics accounts I have access I’ve seen everything from steep -20% YOY drops to continued (steady) YOY organic growth. It likely doesn’t come to you as a surprise that the industry in which your business is in likely plays a large role.

“Site A” is down -20% YOY in organic traffic. They sell high priced products in a very specific niche. When the world is in the middle of a pandemic it’s not difficult to imagine people opting not to spend thousands of dollars in high priced machinery.

Another site maintaining its organic growth is in the recreational sports niche. After seeing the site above decline I was expecting “site B” to be even worse. Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the case.

Both sites had fairly consistent rankings when comparing WOW. The biggest difference from what I can see is the intent behind the keywords. One site is far more informational while the other is nearly all lower funnel transaction keywords.

Is it too early to blame this drop exclusively on COVID-19? Maybe. However, I think some online stores are going to see a negative impact due to sheer interest declining. Times like this make consumers think twice before every purchase. Has your website/company been impacted?

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Nick LeRoy
Nick LeRoy
Nick has 10+ years of SEO consulting experience building and executing strategies for clients ranging from multi-billion dollar consumer packaged goods to fashion entities with hundreds of physical store locations. He also writes the weekly SEO newsletter #SEOForLunch that allows you to stay up to date with industry updates in the amount of time it takes you to eat your lunch.

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