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Google Predicts Which Pandemic Habits Are Here to Stay How the Pandemic Shaped Present & Future Consumer Shopping Habits

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

While early pandemic fads like whipped coffee and banana bread are long forgotten, some trends are here to stay, according to Google.

In a recent report released by the search engine giant, Google predicted that certain practices adopted by consumers during the COVID-19 will continue indefinitely.

Even after the majority of the world’s population is vaccinated against COVID-19, the following consumer shifts will continue to live on, Google speculates.

1. Doing A Search Before Shopping

Because consumers have been forced to limit their number of weekly shopping trips, more and more people have turned to Google to see which stores have products in stock before heading out to the store.

How does Google know this? Searches for “who has” and “in stock” increased by over 8,000% during the early months of the pandemic.

2. Taking Fewer Trips

As previously mentioned, consumers are making far fewer shopping trips, which will likely continue after the pandemic. To back up this prediction, Google cites an increase in searches for “can you freeze” and “home delivery.”

3. Spending Less Money

In its report, Google cites the following statistic from Kantar: 71% of people in G-7 countries say their personal income had or would be impacted by the pandemic.

As a result, a separate report from BCG found that 29% of consumers said they would save more money, and 27% would spend less on nonessential items.

4. Finding Alternatives

If the early days of the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that an essential item we rely on, like toilet paper, can disappear from store shelves in the blink of an eye. For this reason, consumers have become more adaptable and are willing to seek out alternatives when their favourite products or services are taken away. As people become more comfortable with these alternatives, Google expects that consumers will stick with them in the long run.

Google cites the following data to back up this prediction:

  • Searches for “online learning” went up 400% year over year

  • Searches for fitness apps jumped 200% year over year

  • Searches that included “with friends online” went up 300% year over year

Other Big Predictions

Unsurprisingly, Google also predicts that working from home, virtual events, and online shopping will be the norm long after the pandemic has ended.

While nobody can truly predict the future, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, Google’s predictions are pretty sound and are likely to be true. Therefore, brands will need to continue to adapt to these changes in consumer behaviour in order to remain successful.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google Updates Its Guidelines for Search Quality Raters

10/20/2021

Google has finally updated its Search Quality Raters guidelines this week after a year without any updates.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines offer insight into how Google assesses the quality of online content.

The last update took place on October 14, 2020, and was 175 pages. The latest update saw three of those pages removed, reducing the document to 172 pages. However, according to Search Engine Round Table, 3,635 changes were made – 807 replacements, 812 insertions, and 356 deletions.

Here is a quick summary of what was changed:

  • The definition of the YMYL subcategory ‘Groups of people’ has been expanded

  • Direction on how to research reputation information for websites and content creators has been revised

  • The ‘Lowest Page Quality’ section has been restructured, updated, reorganized, and refreshed

  • The definition of ‘Upsetting-Offensive’ has been simplified and redundancy in the Lowest Page Quality section has been removed

  • Other minor changes have been made throughout the document, such as updated screenshots and URLs, wording, and examples for consistency removed outdated examples and fixed typos.

Here’s what the ‘Groups of people’ section looks like now: 

“Information about or claims related to groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of a major violent event and their kin, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”

Along with reporting from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table, SEO consultant Glenn Gabe also took to Twitter to share some of his insights on the new document.

Check it out below:

 

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Google Caps off Volatile Week With Another Algorithm Update

10/08/2021

What in the world is going on with the internet this week? It was only Monday that we reported that Google had rolled out a massive unconfirmed update, and the following day, Facebook experienced a colossal outage affecting billions of people around the world. Now, Search Engine Round Table is reporting yet ANOTHER unconfirmed update appears to be happening. And yes, this all happened in the span of a week. What a wild ride it’s been. 

While this latest update doesn’t appear to be as big as the one that took place last weekend, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table is reporting that tracking tools seem to show that an update began rolling out on October 6th, peaked on October 7th, and is now starting to slow down.

This time around, there is way more industry chatter going on in the SEO forums. Here are some interesting snippets posted in WebmasterWorld around October 6th:

“Seeing a return of the drop in USA traffic in the middle part of the day again. Starts in the morning and traffic remains very low for hours. Back to the old June patterns…”

“For me traffic has fallen off the cliff edge today with hardly any multiple page view visitors.

Over the last few weeks I have also seen many, many visits by Singapore, Huawei Clouds.” 

“Yesterday was my worst traffic day in years. Gulp!” 

“All competitors I am tracking are down today with only one exception, me lol I am in the same position as I was yesterday but the biggest volume keywords were targeted and pushed down the serps. Some low volume keywords improved. The algorithms constantly target high volume keywords.”

Tracking tools aren’t showing a ton of volatility, mostly just a shift in the Google search results. Overall, things look pretty calm compared to the update last weekend. Still, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Check out the screenshots posted by Search Engine Round Table:

Semrush:

SEM Rush tracking 

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO report

SERPmetrics:

SERP Metrics report

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