How is Coronavirus changing the Google Search Terms?

Coronavirus is creating an enormous change in the business environment as we know it. Since the world hasn’t experienced such an unpredictable crisis in recent history, businesses, especially the online ones, are trying to find new ways to adapt to the changes as fast as possible. Because everything is so unpredictable many eCommerce companies are more than ever putting their hopes in Google Search Trends.

Google Search Trends can offer your business a little sneak peek into what people around the world are currently most searching for. For an eCommerce business, this type of information is priceless. 

In this post, we’ll gonna walk you through some new rules in Google Search. Also, if you have a dilemma about whether you should pause your eCommerce business during the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t worry - we’ll cover that as well. 

As SEO expert Lily Ray said a few days ago on Twitter: “If you’re an SEO professional not living in Google Trends right now, I recommend you make your way over there”.

Every trend that so far was known and predictable, now it probably isn’t. Changes are happening on a daily basis, so it’s of great use to keep an eye on what’s going on with Google Trends.

Many companies, especially the eCommerce oriented ones, have understood the importance of keeping tracks of Google Search Trends in times like these. Some very mundane searches can now become a priceless resource of information for your business. Let’s take something as an example. Your eCommerce store is selling kitchen appliances and equipment. When you go to take a look at Google Search Terms you can see that terms regarding cooking are very popular. People are now cooking more for their family, and therefore they need some family recipes. You can use this information to create some blog posts about food or have some influencers who can share some recipes as well. By doing so, you are not directly selling anything, but when searching, people will come across your blogs, then go to your website, and most probably order something that they haven’t even think about in the first place.


Easy- by using time-lapse. Time-lapses will offer you useful insights into how people’s attention has been changing (and in what direction) during some period of time. You need to choose some period of time - for example, 7 days or a month, and you’ll be able to see the changes in what the people have been searching for. 

During the pandemic, it’s especially interesting to see how the most searched terms are actually reflecting the state in which the countries find themselves in.

According to Google, “since the first week of February, search interest in coronavirus increased by +260% globally.” Therefore, there have been some changes in search traffic for products that are mostly related to coronavirus pandemic.

For example, Rebeca Lehmann, Director of Digital in WilksComm. tweeted a time-lapse that shows the change on a very basic example - cakes recipe vs. bread recipe. As you can see, 12 months ago, the search for these terms was almost the same, however, a few days ago, the bread recipe has completely taken the lead.Another term that is massively searched worldwide is toilet paper. Who would have guessed, right? ;) 

How different industries are fighting the crisis caused by coronavirus?

You’ve watched a few seasons of many tv shows, cleaned your apartment a couple of times and sorted out the closet. Now what? Believe it or no, the phrase ‘Me aburo’ (I’m bored) was trending in Spain a couple of days ago. 

All jokes aside, research shows that there are some industries whose eCommerce is booming during this period. 

As expected, many people are searching for different medical terms in order to become more informed of the virus itself, but also about the measures of protection. 

Also, many fast-moving consumer goods are noting a significantly higher demand during these couple of weeks. For example, that’s the case with the beauty and care industry. 

Due to social distancing, people are trying to find additional ways to entertain themselves. Therefore, on-demand media has skyrocketed during this period. We all are searching for tv shows/movies, but also for real-time information, interactive games, route information, shopping & ordering service, etc. 

One more industry branch that can benefit from this situation is the one related to gifts - gift cards, presents, flowers, etc. Since social distancing is preventing us from seeing someone we love and give them a birthday present, some companies found a way around it. According to this research, eCommerce businesses that have been wise and checked on time for changes in Google Search Trends could have seen the following pattern:

The sports and recreation industry has also found a way to approach its users via online form. A lot of gyms and personal trainers started posting their training routines on YouTube or having Instagram live for their followers where they can have a more personal way of communicating with them.

What to do when the eCommerce business is performing poorly?

During these hard times, not every eCommerce business is lucky enough to be able to find their way out of the crisis. However, if your business isn’t closed, but is still struggling, Search Engine Journal in one of their posts offers you a few tips.

As they suggest, you can disable the shopping cart on your website - your site visibility will remain untouched, but the business itself will be paused. You shouldn’t forget about your customers either - keep them informed about the changes that you are making by sending them a newsletter, providing a banner on the website, and informing them what products are out of stock, or canceled.

Even in times like this, keeping an eye on your competitors is crucial for your business. Since now everyone is trying to adjust to the situation the best they can, price changes are happening all the time. Because of that, keeping up with all those changes is time-consuming, but luckily, there are tools, such as Price2Spy, who can give you a hand.

Summing it up 

The coronavirus outbreak has caught us all unprepared. Since this situation isn’t gonna go away anytime soon, finding solutions for how to keep businesses on the float is necessary. Everyone already has a lot of additional expenses so it would be ideal that the new strategies don’t cost too much. As you can see, Google Search Trends is one of them - offering many insights, but without investing lots of money. 

Take some time to think about what is the best way to use it in your business and don’t hesitate to share your experience with us!