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The Role of SEO in Pandemic Information Dissemination

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SEO, or search engine optimization, has seen a rise in the past decade due to its ability to improve the quantity and quality of website traffic of specific organizations and businesses using search engines. One of the most well-known digital marketing strategies, it has created a lot of good for many companies and non-profits all over the world. But more than just an internet marketing strategy, it also has the capability to disseminate much-needed information, especially in the time of a pandemic and a recession. Here are some ways SEO practices can help with information dissemination in a time of misinformation and disinformation.

SEO practices can work hand-in-hand with online news publications.

Since the early 2010s, many online news publications have already used SEO to expand their reach. Since there is always an overwhelming increase of fresh content every day, SEO practices can help news publications and journalists maximize their Google visibility, thanks to Google News. Traditional media like newspapers and magazines are already facing the biggest hit, especially since people now rely on new media for their headlines and updates. The best way for journalism to stay alive and thrive is through a robust online presence. Implementing the proper SEO strategies is key to ensuring that reputable news websites continue to reach their audience in a saturated digital landscape.

SEO writers are trained to write articles that are accurate and helpful.

When Google was founded in 1998, the founders said their mission was to organize all the information available in the world and make it accessible and useful for anyone who has access to the internet. This is why their algorithms are constantly improving and evolving to provide users with relevant and useful results, all in a fraction of a second. These relevant and useful results are the pieces and pages of content accessible through the world wide web. These pieces are organized and ranked by order of their relevancy and usefulness to the person who performed the search. All this is why SEO writers are trained to create content and write articles based on facts, evidence, and research, as well as content that is helpful to the reader.

For example, a user may search SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor testing to see if they have antibodies that can help them resist the virus. There has not been a lot of information about SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors in mainstream media, so a well-researched SEO article about the subject may provide the reader with information that can help save their life.

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SEO content often links to relevant websites as sources.

Related to the previous point, SEO copywriters are often required to back up their claims with reputable news sources or peer-reviewed research from well-known universities and institutions. These sources are beneficial to readers because they lend credence to the content they came across. In general, SEO content shies away from false news and conspiracy theories because Google has taken steps and launched tools to help fight and debunk misinformation. During the early months of the pandemic, Google launched a 24-hour incident-response team whose sole purpose is to remove misinformation from YouTube and search results. They also announced that the team would ultimately send the users seeking information back to reputable websites like the World Health Organization and other official health agencies in different countries. Google is cracking down on false information on the web, and an SEO article that perpetuates falsities won’t just be wasted; it’s also incredibly harmful.

SEO articles show up on top of search results.

According to a study of billions of search results, more than 25% of Google users and searchers click on the first organic result that shows up. The same study found that the first organic results usually have an average click-through rate of more than 28%. Users will usually click on the first few organic results, which means that SEO content has the power to influence billions of people. When people have a hard time figuring out which pandemic “headlines” are real and which ones are not, SEO practices in partnership with Google can be a force for good and the truth.

Shared Responsibility

At the end of the day, it’s incumbent upon all of us—corporations like Google, content creators, and users searching for information—we have a mutual responsibility to safeguard the truth, especially considering how many have suffered because of the pandemic. It’s upon all of us to search for the truth before forming opinions or choices regarding something as important as our health and those who are more vulnerable than us.

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