Data Shows COVID19 Has Created A Demand For SEO

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Photo by Lukas from Pexels

The covid-19 pandemic has had an incredible influence on all facets of society. However one of the most talked-about and obvious changes has been economic shifts within most countries that have been hit the hardest. While a majority of the news has been focused on the economic downturn in major sectors such as the service industry, little attention has been given to parts of the economy that have accelerated and done better as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

While it’s hard to find data that shows direct correlations with public health crisis and economic performance, it is obvious based on anecdotal evidence and market trends that the covid-19 pandemic has had an increased demand on SEO and digital marketing in general. Below we can see data from Google Trends that show a dramatic increase and consistent upward trend for the search term SEO beginning after the pandemic started to impact major aspects of society.

Chart from Google Trends that shows an increased interest in SEO beginning at the start of the pandemic.

It also appears that this increase in interest has resulted in an increase in SEO business as well. Below we can see data from ahrefs that shows an increase in links discovered starting in the summer of 2020. This would coincide perfectly with a normal agency level campaign that takes the first several months to execute and develop strategy and best practices, and then an investment in backlink building usually starts to get crawled and indexed two or three months after. This is likely why we see this increase in links starting in the summer of 2020 after the pandemic was underway and agencies were starting their link building campaigns for new business acquired in the last several months. (However it’s also possible that for some reason ahrefs increased their crawl rate at this time as well, which would account for the increase in data across the board. But I find that unlikely given that the number of domains in the first chart does not increase like the other charts following.)

Data from ahrefs that shows an increase in links after the pandemic started.

Also based on a poll of SEO professionals on Twitter there is overwhelming agreement that the pandemic has had an increased demand for SEO.

How long will this demand be sustained? Can we look forward to continued growth in the years to come? My best guess is that while we may see a slight plateau in the next year with SEO, we will not go back to where things were before the pandemic and in some cases the increase in demand will continue. There has been a large economic shift within our society as a result of the pandemic our economies are becoming more digital and consumers are turning to the internet more and more. All of these are reasons for an increase in SEO.

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