Marketing 2 min read

Google to Show More Local COVID-19 News in Search

Nadir Keklik /

Nadir Keklik /

In the last few months, coronavirus has been a hot topic on search engines, especially Google.

Along with searching for information about the virus, people also want to know whether they’re infected. That’s why a data reporter in Washington postChristopher Ingraham — predicted that the coronavirus trend would be the biggest in Google’s history.

It turns out that Ingraham may not be far off the mark. Yesterday, Google’s search liaison, Danny Sullivan, confirmed the growing search interest for COVID-19.

“Google Search has never seen as many searches for a single topic continue over a sustained period as is happening now with COVID-19,” said Sullivan. “Many searches are for news about what’s happening in local areas, such as sheltering updates or the latest on testing. “

Now, the search engine giant is surfacing more COVID-19 local news to meet the growing demand.

Using Local COVID-19 News to Satisfy Search Demand

Google defines local news as material from a publisher, like a local newspaper that serves specific cities or regions.

It could also be content that’s relevant to a specific area, even though it was written somewhere else. In other words, a local news publisher is not limited to a particular geographic region.

So, how does the search engine intend to meet the search demand for COVID-19 local news?

Google has changed its SERP to enable local content surface better within the Top Stories box, says Sullivan. The search engine now also includes a new “Local news” box specifically for COVID-19 searches.

Sullivan, however, added that publishers don’t have to make any particular changes.

Google has already reviewed the signals to understand if the content is relevant to a specific region. Now, the search engine giant is just balancing those signals better.

Aside from local news, Google is also changing where AMP and non-Amp stories appear in Top Stories for COVID-19 related searches.

At the end of the Twitter thread, Sullivan dropped a reminder about Google’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. It’s a program that’ll provide support to local news publishers around the world.

Read More: Google Releases COVID-19 Marketing Strategy Playbook

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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