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Covid-19 SEO News & Resources Roundup – Updated July 23rd

Covid-19 SEO News & Resources Roundup – Updated July 23rd

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

July 23rd Update

Google has released its mobility report, using device-tracking data to uncover patterns of travel and movement in local communities across the world during the global pandemic.

Apple has released its own mobility report, providing a quick snapshot of how requests for directions using public transport, walking and driving have changed around the world.

Yelp has published a sobering economic impact report for the USA, highlighting in particular the struggles of the restaurant industry during Covid-19.


June 25th Update

Google is rolling out new ways for businesses to highlight attributes in Google My Business as they start to reopen, focusing on attributes associated with restaurants to begin with.

Google is currently testing showing a ‘service update’ section in Google local panels for some businesses.


May 28th Update

Google Reviews are starting to pick up pace and returning to Google My Business profiles across the world.

Facebook and Instagram are now letting local businesses sell products directly from their pages.

Sparkhouse is offering free promotional videos to local businesses impacted by Covid-19.


May 14th Update

Google has followed Bing (never thought I’d find myself writing that) in providing integrations with GoFundMe for donation links in Google My Business. Like Facebook last week, they’re also allowing businesses to set up gift cards.

Google had added a new feature to Google My Business for hotels that lets them highlight whether they’re offering free or discounted rooms for Covid-19 responders.

Google seems to be replacing normal Google Posts in business’ GMB profiles with any Covid-19 Google Posts, if any are used.

Facebook and Instagram is launching new features designed to help users find, discover and support small businesses, including an option for users to ‘Find Businesses Nearby’ as well as show their support through stickers and hashtags.


May 7th Update

Yelp has made a big update to its platform, with new products and features designed to help and support local businesses and the Yelp community, including virtual service offerings and customized banners about Covid-19.

Google has announced that it has added support for the new SpecialAnnouncement structured data to Google Search Console.

Google is surfacing more local Covid-19 news content to satisfy massive search demand.

Facebook is partnering with payment services to offer businesses ways to provide gift cards to their customers for future use while their doors are closed.

SocialClimb is helping medical practices configure their Google My Business listings at no cost during the Covid-19 pandemic.


April 30th Update

Google‘s premium video conference product, Google Meet (Previously Google Hangouts Meet) has been made completely free for all users.

Google has updated its kit of free, customizable posters for small businesses to include posters with messages relating to Covid-19.

Bing has launched a hub dedicated to explaining the Bing Places features and attributes businesses can use during Covid-19.

Pulno is offering a free upgrade to paid plans for its SEO audit tool during the pandemic. You just have to contact their support team.


April 23rd Update

Google has made shopping and Ads free – this is being rolled out across the US now, and the aim is to have the update live worldwide by the end of the year.

Google has added options within Local Services Ads for some local businesses to highlight the types of services they are offering during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Google has added more detail to its offer of providing $340m credit to SMBs during Covid-19.

Bing has announced it has partnered with GoFundMe to integrate it into Bing Places.

Locasaur is offering free accounts and personalized setup of its local business relationship platform.

dbaPlatform is offering its Google My Business post scheduler completely free during Covid-19.

KissPR is offering free press release distribution to releases that are educational, helpful, or non-political.


April 16th Update

Google is launching a new video series to replace its in-person conferences, including the likes of John Mueller, Martin Splitt, and Daniel Waisberg.

Apple Maps is allowing healthcare providers, labs, and other businesses who would like to provide information on Covid-19 testing locations to do so through Apple Business Register.

BirdEye has accelerated its Customer Experience product launch and is offering it free to “distressed small businesses” for 60 days.


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. 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

June 25th Update

Local Visibility System has helpfully put together a reopening checklist for local businesses, to help you make it confusion-free, local SEO-friendly, and safe.

Moz‘s Britney Muller has made a Whiteboard Friday video on the topic of crisis adaptation, which comes with a free checklist.


May 28th Update

Street Fight has covered a variety of ways that businesses are using mobile messaging to connect with customers during the pandemic.

Novoresume has published a complete guide to remote working.


May 14th Update

Street Fight has shared some affiliate marketing strategies to help businesses through Covid-19.

Cook Martin Poulson (US) has developed and published a Covid-19 financial resource center to help businesses get the assistance they need at this time.


May 7th Update

Nextdoor has released new ways for neighbors to help local businesses using its platform, including gift cards, takeout and delivery options, and GoFundMe campaigns.

Finimpact has published a rundown of the best financial tools to help small businesses combat the economic impact of Covid-19.


April 30th Update

Street Fight has a ton of tips on how small businesses can move their classes or programs online.

Moz‘s Britney Muller started a really interesting thread on Twitter into which people are sharing examples of small businesses pivoting to adapt to the current climate.


April 23rd Update

Search Engine Journal has gathered 17 ways to help small businesses impacted by Covid-19.

Postaga has a great piece on how to host a virtual summit in 2020.

Must Have Menus have produced a coronavirus response kit for restaurants.


April 16th Update

Street Fight is reporting that businesses are finding ways to fundraise and connect through local platforms like Nextdoor.


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

July 23rd Update

Street Fight has an article on the plight of local businesses receiving negative reviews due to coronavirus safety requirements

Search Engine Journal has published a poll finding that SEOs are actually having to work more and harder during Covid-19 than before.


June 25th Update

Brandify‘s comprehensive GMB Insights study around consumer interactions with GMB during the pandemic predicts a slow path to recovery for many industries.

Street Fight has a deep dive into the impact of Covid-19 on local search for healthcare.

Search Engine Land has produced a video from their live session on how marketers can prepare for the ‘great reset’ that will come when consumers reemerge into a new retail landscape.

Search Engine Land has collected a selection of statistics and data to help you market more effectively during Covid-19.

Greater Memphis Chamber has a piece on how businesses can use digital marketing to weather Covid-19.

Accountable has put together a detailed post on how to ensure you are HIPAA compliant when working remotely.


May 28th Update

Search Engine Roundtable has covered the poll that Google’s Gary Illyes ran on Twitter to learn how SEOs have been affected by Covid-19.


May 14th Update

BrightLocal has taken a good look at its data to learn when and where Google My Business reviews are returning to profiles.

Street Fight has published a personal take on adapting to Covid-19 using location data


May 7th Update

Search Engine Land predicts three ways that digital marketing agencies will change due to Covid-19.

Search Engine Land also has a deep dive into recent search trends in the automotive and retail sectors.

Localogy looks at Unacast data to determine Covid-19’s impact on local businesses throughout the Unites States.


April 30th Update

Search Engine Land reports that, while Google My Business usage has declined, it’s likely to return from the pandemic more important than ever.

Localogy will be hosting a May 7th webinar on advertising to the post-Covid local consumer.

Street Fight advises that you rely on empathy to stop second-guessing your Covid-19 marketing strategy.


April 23rd Update

The White House is encouraging Schema adoption for Covid-19 announcements.

Longitude73 is preparing for the end of Covid-19 already, and have written a digital marketing perspective on reopening your business.

Traqq has a great piece on surviving your coronavirus quarantine while working.


April 16th Update

Milestone has published this incredibly useful resource that very simply explains all the feature updates in platforms like Yelp and Google My Business that have come about due to Covid-19.

Search Engine Land has published a piece on differentiating your “coronacontent” from the masses during the pandemic.

Street Fight has 50 tips for small businesses posting and advertising on social media, useful for those looking to take advantage of the current increase in customer touch points and attention online.


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.)

TrustRadius has a sobering report on the winners and losers in the software industry.

Evoluted shares how to approach SEO in a Covid-19 world.


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!

Jamie Pitman
About the author
Jamie heads up BrightLocal's content team, ensuring we produce insightful articles, research and resources that enable businesses and SEOs to get even better results in local search.