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Coronavirus Google Trends Shed Light on What’s Surging in Demand

By Tim Brownβ€’
Updated May 11, 2020
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Coronavirus Google Trends
Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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Historic data through Ahrefs and other keyword tools about what people are searching is great! We use it all the time, but when it comes down to a changing reality from week to week – Google Trends, and Exploding Topics (perhaps check out Pinterest Trends too) are wonderful places to get your finger on the pulse of the current content appetite.

Searches for “Good News” hit an all-time high

I had mentioned in my article on ‘Maintaining a positive mindset during Covid-19‘ that searching out good news is crucial – apparently quite a few people are already on it!

Cooking Makes a Comeback

It looks like Cooking searches go down when the economy is doing well, as the last peak was around the last recession and has gone down since then – even though the surge now is for obvious reasons, with restaurants all shut down, and people stuck at home.

People are settling into the new reality – Initial searches & Symptoms

The initial ‘Coronavirus’ searches are down steadily over the last 2-3 weeks, and we’re settling into a new reality. Definitions, and basic content around this virus aren’t pulling the same traffic as they did initially (and of course, big org’s like the CDC got the lion’s share of that data.)

Many are looking for solutions to Insomnia

I’ve been hitting the melatonin a little harder than usual, and others are looking for ways to get to sleep as well! What says restful dreams better than scrolling through Twitter looking at graphs of daily deaths?

Meditation reaches and all-time high

Another positive development – people are taking the need for solutions to their anxiety more seriously than ever. Meditation is crucial for me inΒ  accepting the current reality – check out our post on meditation during COVID-19 here.

Regional searches make a lot of sense – corresponding with greater visibility for local news

Many of the top 25 queries are regional – and people have been watching a lot more local news (rather than highly partisan MSNBC’s, Fox’s and CNN’s of the world.) Florida, NYC, California, Michigan and Ohio top the list by volume of searches. Generally, people are looking for lists of cases, statistics, and graphs – as well as local news about the outbreak.

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Top Unemployment Searches

Certainly, the economic toll of the virus can’t be understated, as represented by the intense increase in people searching for details on unemployment, how to apply for unemployment, and who qualifies for unemployment.

Stimulus Check, Face Masks, Implications of Stay-at-home, and our Death Obsession

Tons of other obvious trends have emerged, around the stimulus checks, facemasks, what ‘stay at home’ means – and a lot of searches about the death toll.

When Coronavirus was the biggest trend in Google search history

Journalists were surprised by how massive the surge was – oh the good old days, when we might have thought folks were over-reacting.


The top searches according to at that time were:

  • How do you make your own hand sanitizer? (top question)
  • What is a pandemic?
  • What are coronavirus symptoms?
  • Where can I find a coronavirus map?
  • Can I still touch my face and avoid the coronavirus?

How much it will change the face of business after the worst is over is still to be seen

Search Engine Journal did a analysis of Google Trends during coronavirus too – and some takeaways of there’s were:

  • How to buy stocks searches are up. How to Buy stocks surges during coronavirus economic fallout
  • “I’m bored” and boredom related searches are up. I'm bored in isolation – Google search trends
  • Yoga near me went down, and “online yoga” went way up (likely all the other exercise-related searches too.
  • “How to make pancakes” and tons of online recipe and cooking searches are way up.
  • Zoom meetings, and other remote working tools are obviously seeing a surge

It’s a better time than ever to be an SEO, and to dive into trends

Google trends is huge, and being on top of the surges in demand will be an opportunity for all kinds of people and companies to innovate and service people in the new environment.

Don’t forget to use your creativity as well. None of these search trends really surprised me based on the current reality. Empathize, look at Google Trends – and Twitter and other social listening will help you keep a feel for the pulse as well.

Another great article about putting out content during Coronavirus: Rand Fishkin’s “Read the Room”


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Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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