Impact of the coronavirus on search marketing

Human lives are the paramount concern when it comes to the topic of coronavirus. Still, it is prudent to consider the impact it may have, including the economic impact. Although it is difficult to predict the magnitude of the impact, there are indications that there could be a ripple effect if current trends continue.

Home shopping trend

There have been videos posted from Wuhan that show deserted streets. Other towns affected have also become eerily deserted.

It has been suggested that if the outbreak gets worse, it will displace more shopping online. The reason is that more and more people will be reluctant to leave their homes to do their shopping.

Conference Cancellations

Conferences are starting to cancel their events. Rakuten Advertising has just canceled its DealMaker London event which was scheduled for April 1, 2020.

Google canceled its April 6, 2020 CloudNext conference in San Francisco and decided to stream it instead and canceled a Las Vegas event scheduled for March.

Travel should suffer

The IAC president has warned that Expedia stands to make $30-40 million less due to the effects of the coronavirus.

Travel is an important affiliate niche on its own. But it also affects local businesses in the restaurant and hospitality niches.

Imminent shortage of products

Oakland, CA is a port of entry for Chinese goods. Reports indicate that nearly 20% of ships scheduled to unload in Oakland have canceled.

Fewer supplies means less inventory.

According to the Harvard Business Review:

“We expect the peak of the impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains will occur in mid-March, forcing thousands of businesses to scale back or temporarily close assembly and manufacturing plants in United States and Europe.

The most vulnerable companies are those that rely heavily or solely on factories in China for parts and materials. Chinese manufacturing activity has fallen over the past month and is expected to remain depressed for months.

The situation is similar in the ports of Los Angeles, California, where there are more than 25% cancellations according to the Wall Street Journal.

This may at some point affect merchants who sell Chinese products (and their affiliates) as well as affiliates who depend on sales of Chinese-made products on Amazon.

Impact of the coronavirus on SEO consulting

The search marketing community tends to think that SEO is about ranking number one in search engines. But ranking is not an end, it’s just a means. The purpose of grading is to sell.
Top rank means nothing if there are no sales and that’s what happened in the 2008 recession, sales crashed across a wide range of industries.

This affected search marketing, as clients gave up because they could no longer afford to pay for advice.

Some industries have managed to continue making money. Still, I remember many having to cut fees to retain long-term clients whose incomes have plummeted due to the recession.

Everything else is everything else

We occupy an uncertain moment in time, on the eve of a potentially historic event. It is important to think of ways to prepare.

The references

Rakuten cancels London conference

Google cancels CloudNext

Income Tips from Expedia

Local CBS on the Port of Oakland, California

harvard business review

Wall Street Journal on the Port of Los Angeles

Brandon D. James