Covid-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, was declared as a pandemic by WHO on March 11, 2020. Since then, many giant companies and industry leaders started responding to Covid-19 to help people stay safe, informed, and connected.
Google released a good range of updates associated with Covid-19. It includes banning mask ads, removing videos providing wrong information associated with the virus and making the premium features of its video conferencing app “Meet” free temporarily.
Let’s have a glance at everything intimately . Google changed to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
What Changed in Google Search?
1.Promote the Do-Five Campaign
On the Google homepage, users see the “Do the Five” campaign. This is done to raise awareness of simple steps that can help people in reducing the spread of the Covid-19. The World Health Organization has given these pieces of advice.
2.Limited Functionalities in Google My Business
On March 20, 2020, Google announced, “During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, there could also be some temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services.” They also said, new reviews, review replies, and new Q&A are going to be unavailable during this point . google my business
Apart from that, Google My Business has published guidelines for companies affected by Covid-19, advising them to update their GMB profile, so their customers have the most accurate information.
Here are the suggestions provided by GMB for Covid-19.
- Changing business hours: If you were impacted by Covid-19 or due to lockdown in your area, update your new opening and closing hours.
- Manage Information: Share whether or not your business operations have been affected by Covid-19, such as delays or any additional precautions being taken.
- Create a post:Provide up-to-date information on the newest company news.
- Phone number update: Make sure that your phone number is up-to-date so your customers can contact you.
Note: Google may review your changes, and hence it’d not reflect immediately on Google Search and Maps.
3.Google Removes False Information on Covid-19
Google has started removing false information on Covid-19 from YouTube, Google Maps, and Play Store. In fact, Google has already removed thousands of videos from YouTube that were spreading misinformation on coronavirus.
These videos promoted medically unproven methods to prevent coronavirus instead of seeking medical treatment. On Google Maps, they are removing harmful content, such as fake reviews and wrong information about healthcare locations.
4.Google Search and Map Premise Closure Updates
With most of the countries announcing lockdown, Google has started showing local businesses as temporarily closed, except for the essential services, such as grocery and medical.
Even businesses can themselves announce as they are “temporarily closed” using their Google My Business account.
Additionally, Google is using its AI technology Duplex to contact companies to confirm their updated business hours so that they can update it on Google Search and Maps.
5.Website Dedicated to Covid-19 Education, Prevention, and Local Resources Nationwide
Google said it is partnering with the U.S government to develop a website dedicated to educate people about Covid-19 and to tell them about the resources available. Google also said it would update it with additional support regularly.
What has changed in Google Ads?
1.Support for Google Ads May be Unavailable or Delayed
Google has updated its Google Ads help section to inform users that the support for Google Ads may be temporarily unavailable or delayed.
2.Google Banned Ads Related to Respirators and Medical Masks Temporarily
Google has banned ads related to respirators and medical masks. Google has a sensitive policy that does not allow advertising that may capitalize on tragic events such as death, conflicts, or natural disaster.
Google, in January 2020, said it’s “blocked many thousands of ads attempting to maximize the coronavirus pandemic, and last week we announced a short lived ban on all ads for medical masks and respirators.”
1.Webmaster Conference Postponed
According to Google, it has postponed all global Webmaster Conferences due to coronavirus concerns until further notice. It has been done following the guidelines set by the WHO, the CDC, and other organizations.
2.Video Conferencing App Meet Available At No Cost For a Limited Time
With almost every company asking its employees to work remotely, Google has made its video conferencing app Meet free for all G Suite customers until July 1, 2020.
3.New Distance Learning Resources Launched
- Google has created new distance learning resources to assist educators worldwide. These resources include,
- A new YouTube Learning Hub.
- Training Materials.
- Blog Posts.
Additionally, Google’s UrsHolzle announced on Twitter that they would be launching a Distance Learning Fund to enable learning to continue across the world.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the biggest search engine, Google has started doing everything they can to help people around the world. From banning false information to making their video conferencing app free for all the users, Google is doing every possible thing to help you. Now it’s your turn, stay home, stay safe.
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