Covid-19 SEO News & Resources Roundup [Updated April 9th]

It’s a tough time for everyone, but local businesses and their suppliers are going to be some of the hardest-hit by the outbreak of Covid-19. However, it’s not all doom and gloom – we’ve all had to think in ways we never have before, and for some that means being more kind and more creative.

This has led to tech companies rolling out updates to help consumers stay informed, SEOs providing their tips on surviving what’s to come, tool providers offering special deals and free features to their customers, and community organizations rising up to support local businesses.

There’s so much of this great stuff going on every day that we thought we’d publish a roundup, updated weekly, so you can waste no time in making the most of the goodwill out there, keeping up to speed with developments in the SEO world related to Covid-19, and do everything you can to put yourself and your business in a position for continued success.

We’ll be updating this page with more resources and articles as they become available, so keep this page bookmarked! Seen something that you think we should include? Leave a comment below!

 

Tech and Tools Updates and Offers

April 9th Update

Google has launched a new beta tool for posting an announcement to your search results listing using Google Search Console.

Google has postponed sweeping changes to its Google Partners program (originally announced in February) until 2021. They were due to come into effect in June 2020.

Google is allowing some users to set Covid-19-related attributes “COVID-19 info link” and “Telehealth info link” in Google My Business.

Google‘s John Mueller has confirmed that Google is not filtering out sites for coronavirus searches.

Google has updated Google Ads’ Inappropriate Content policy to stop advertisers attempting to capitalize on the virus and its effects.

Google‘s SpecialAnnouncement structured data can be used by health and government agencies to highlight announcements related to Covid-19 in search results. They’re planning to expand use to other types of sites in the future.

Bing has launched an interactive tracking map to help people keep up-to-date on the spread of Covid-19.

Bing now features the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) coronavirus self-checker in search results related to “corona” and “coronavirus”. (US only)

Facebook has announced the ability to publish hours updates and service changes on Facebook pages.

Facebook has launched a Covid-19 resource hub specifically for advertisers.

Twitter has a resource advising how to manage brand communications during Covid-19.

 

April 2nd Update

Google has reinstated Google Posts after having temporarily limiting them over the last two weeks.

Google has announced a “$800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses, health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of the global pandemic”, including investment funds and Google Ads credits.

Google is testing ‘Dine In’, ‘Take Out’ and ‘Delivery’ attributes for local results as a way of more clearly presenting information that is key at this time.

Google is recommending that businesses limit, rather than disable, their sites during temporary closure and has provided recommendations on how to pause your business online.

Google has published new advice and recommendations on how to use Google My Business, specifically aimed at helping healthcare providers optimize their GMB presences on Google.

Intercom is offering its platform for free to any organization “building technology to help through this very unique challenge”.

Ubersuggest is now “more free,” according to owner, Neil Patel.

 

March 26th Update

Google has suspended or limited a number of Google My Business features, including review replies and Q&A, to reduce pressure on businesses.

Google has released a new Google Post type, called a ‘COVID-19 update’, which businesses can use to let searchers know about any changes to their operations, such as opening times, and product and service availability.

Google Search and Maps will now display if a place, like a school or local business, is ‘temporarily closed’ (though some reports suggest that it took a long time for this option to be available). Bing and Yelp also offer this functionality.

Google is recommending businesses update their opening hours, but they’ve also acknowledged that some edit reviews will need to be prioritized over others.

BrightLocal has announced an up-to-90% reduction on the cost of Local Search Audit credits, which help SEO agencies win new business.

BrightLocal is starting a new online Q&A that will go live every week with a local SEO expert, allowing the local search community to get their questions answered and chat with one another.

BrightLocal has made their local SEO sales pitch deck templates available to everyone and is offering free online walkthroughs.

Yelp has launched a tranche of financial initiatives to help support local businesses, including “$25 million in relief… in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services”.

Yell (UK) has sent an email encouraging users to use the free ‘Yell for Business app’ to update their listings.

Schema.org has added structured data types related to Covid-19.

Bing has announced support for the ‘SpecialAnnouncements’ structured data type, specifically for businesses affected by the coronavirus.

Facebook has launched a business resource hub with ideas and guidelines for continuing to retain business during the Covid-19 outbreak.

LinkedIn is offering a series of learning courses on working remotely, including topics such as boosting productivity, communicating effectively, and managing stress.

Calendly is offering free Zoom and GoToMeeting integrations to help remote workers connect.

Moz has made its SEO training course completely free.

Ahrefs has made its ‘Blogging for Business’ online training course completely free.

 

Initiatives and Ideas from SEOs and Businesses

April 9th Update

Search Engine Journal has some ideas on the sorts of SEO opportunities that will be present post-coronavirus, but that you’ll need to start focusing on now.

Search Engine Journal covers what to do when clients want to pause your SEO services.

Phil Rozek‘s Local Visibility System has collected some great (and importantly, doable) examples of the sorts of online and remote services currently being offered by local businesses.

 

April 2nd Update

BrightLocal has published a research piece on how Covid-19 is impacting agencies and businesses, complete with tips and advice on weathering the storm.

Street Fight has published a fantastic list of the delivery apps keeping restaurants and grocers afloat during Covid-19.

Search Engine Land has this excellent rundown of how SEOs and businesses are looking to provide free assistance to those seriously affected by Covid-19.

Chester Zoo (UK) is using Facebook to provide live tours of its animal enclosures.

Small Batch Coffee (UK) is now delivering its famous roasted coffee to local doorsteps.

 

March 26th Update

Search Engine Land has collected some great ideas from SEOs for pivoting and planning for a future after Covid-19.

Wriggle (UK) is running an ‘Indie Kitty’ fund to help support local, independent restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Phil Rozek (US) is kindly offering pro bono SEO help for businesses locked down by the coronavirus.

Artrepublic (UK) is offering a personal, virtual tour of its art gallery and shop, so you can buy art from your home.

Groucho’s Deli (US), along with many other restaurants worldwide, is promoting its delivery service and enabling curbside pickup.

VCA Animal Hospitals (US) have sent out new safety guidelines for visiting its hospitals and provided information on how to care for your pets without a trip or call to the hospital.

Starbucks (US) has announced it is going completely ‘to-go’ only throughout the US, and offering free coffee to front-line responders.

 

Other Useful Articles and Resources

April 9th Update

Localogy has a deep dive into Foursquare’s data that helps to quantify coronavirus’ impact on local commerce (part of a series).

eMarketer has published a rundown of how coronavirus is changing how consumers shop.

Street Fight covers how you can still market a small business during coronavirus.

SEMrush has data on the market winners and losers during the coronavirus crisis. (Spoilers: Zoom is winning.)

 

April 2nd Update

Search Engine Journal has written about opportunities SEOs can start working on now for live after Covid-19.

Search Engine Journal is providing tips on managing PPC during the coronavirus outbreak.

Brandify has developed an excellent resource to keep track of tech company statuses and recommendations.

LinkedIn has published two pieces written with Covid-19 as the context: ‘Emerging Practices for Engaging with Your Audiences‘ and ‘Tips to Share Your Insights and Experiences on LinkedIn‘.

Moz‘s Miriam Ellis has drawn up a host of helpful tips for local businesses operating during Covid-19.

Wordstream has a ton of data on how Covid-19 has impacted ad results (for 21 industries, no less).

 

March 26th Update

Search Engine Journal has written about thirteen ways businesses can use SEO and marketing to combat the impact of Covid-19.

Search Engine Journal has broken down how the coronavirus has already impacted search traffic and suggested how SEOs can respond.

Search Engine Journal has some advice on how to keep SEO clients during this period of unease and uncertainty.

Street Fight has written an article on treating the economic symptoms of the coronavirus with proactive brand management, including location data management and communicating your brand’s message at scale.

Street Fight has laid out how the leaders in location technology have responded and how they’re offering to help support businesses.

Search Engine Land has published a great piece on developing FAQs and ‘coronapages’ for SEO.

The Points Guy has collected an absolute tonne of resources and key articles for US-based small businesses, breaking down offerings and governmental relief packages, state-by-state.

 

Something to add?

The situation is always evolving, and with so much going on and changing around us, I’m bound to miss something that can help SEOs and local businesses. If you’ve read something useful online or have seen some resources or free offers out there, leave them in a comment below and we’ll look to add them in the next weekly update!

The post Covid-19 SEO News & Resources Roundup [Updated April 9th] appeared first on BrightLocal.

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