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Impact Of Google Core May’20 Update On Different Business Verticals Amidst Covid-19

The Covid-19 outbreak, started in December 2019, has plunged the world into first ever modern-day pandemic. Words like social distancing, work from home & quarantine have become the new normal for us humans. We have seen various countries opt for long term lockdowns which have restricted outdoor movement of any kind.

Ever since, online activities have gained more focus than before. People are consuming content through various online platforms to keep themselves up-to-date not only with the news around Coronavirus, but also to drive forward their professional & personal lives. The user behavior in these times has been that of ‘adaptability’. These times are a proof that people don’t and won’t stop their businesses, their work, entertainment, in-short living.

Amidst all this, Google decided to roll out its Core Update in May 2020. With online content & information gaining huge traction Google claims that their guidance about such updates remains same as the one for the previous update. We studied a few cases to help derive possible sectors that took a hit and those that cashed in through this update.

Impact on Google Core 1

Industry Impact

To understand the impact of Google Core update amidst Covid-19, we have studied the following verticals:

Impact on Google Core 2

One things that is crystal clear from the above graph, is that there are a few industries that have seen a surge in performance even when the world was stagnant, whereas some have seen a drop. Let us understand how each sector has performed during these Covid-19 times by looking at a few deeper industry insights along with the way forward for these industries.



Ever since the Pandemic broke out, we have witnessed a major shift in the buying behavior of people across the globe. With many e-Commerce websites closing their operations on a temporary basis we saw a major shift from bulk and influenced online shopping to buying only essentials online. However, with brands offering bargains and discounts, they have successfully attracted personas who enjoy retail therapy.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update 

Impact on Google Core 3

Road to Recovery

  • It’s important that businesses analyze and understand location level demand and accessibility. Invest in engaging with customers, with a quicker response rate than before. For e.g.: Answer queries on availability of products, updates on delivery, proactively sharing information on measures taken to fight the pandemic etc. It’s also important to keep a quick check on strategies and updates being used by competitors.
  • Content is playing key role to engage audience and brands must make sure they have all eyes on them. Content like providing tips and tricks on how to style clothes in different ways or Makeup tutorials, DIYs on repairing household items or cleaning hacks and other quick fixes are capturing more pageviews than before. With Google announcing free product listing, its important every e-commerce is making the most of this.


With the closing of offline learning sources like schools, colleges & other educational institutes there are opportunities for e-Learning spaces to grow. With people glued to their screens & luxury of time in their pockets, companies in this industry focused on providing online webinars, online lectures, e-books etc.


Performance Before v/s After the Core Update 

Impact on Google Core 4

Road to Recovery

      • The industry is fighting back to overcome the physical challenge by the promoting learning via online channels.
      • Adults are seen invested in online courses, earning certifications etc.
      • Some major players seen offering various courses are YouTube, LinkedIn learning, Upgrad, Skillshare, Udemy, HBR etc.



As people are locked in their homes with very little to do, users are consuming more online content than before. The entire entertainment industry with its TV shows, radio shows, news, music, newspapers, magazines, and books has seen a mixed reaction during the Covid-19 and May 2020 core update.

TV Shows

The re-telecast of shows like Ramayan, Shaktimaan during the lockdown in India, gained nearly 2500 million viewership alone in 25 days, Ramayan became the highest watched Indian television series by a distance, and one of the top watched television series in world. With more such strategies, brands can increase more eyeballs on this medium.

Road to Recovery

      • Offer enticing subscription options, introduce the plans to target audience through various online SEM campaigns.



Even after the Covid-19 pandemic is gone – financial crisis will continue for 4-6 months; This can impact the supply of content especially mid-budget and big-budget movies. With risks involving health, the top stars and TV serial actors could opt for shooting only once the cure for Covid-19 is out – this can impact the supply of content for FY-22. With time, content relevancy will play a major role in film making.

Impact on Google Core 5

Road to Recovery

      • Movie releases can look at OTT platforms for release.
      • With good digital marketing campaigns, optimized trailer releases across various video streaming platforms, they should be able to create the much-needed buzz!



In the absence of traditional channels of distribution and marketing, publishers, like many other businesses right now, have been forced to go online.

Road to Recovery

      • Currently the publishers are engaging their audiences through digital activities such as live storytelling sessions on Instagram and Facebook, panel discussions on Twitter, and workshops with authors.
      • We see a need of many more such activities that keeps the reader engaged and asking for more.



We have seen a surge in music apps’ downloads. Music being therapeutic during the idle time of the lockdown, listeners are glued to these apps. Custom playlists, WFH playlists, Mood playlists have seen an increase in search. Many of the audio streaming apps have resorted to doing live audio streaming performances by various artists and doing fund raisers. The major challenge is providing new musical content to listeners as no new movie releases are happening.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update

Impact on Google Core 6


Road to Recovery

      • Digital strategies opted here mostly revolves around offering access to free music library only to gain a paid customer through habitual listening post Covid-19.


With Social distancing becoming the new normal, Pubs, restaurants that otherwise offer a getaway experiences for foodies and socializing have taken a big hit. To make the most of this lockdown period, it’s important that the food industry invest in adapting food businesses for takeaway and delivery during COVID-19, ensuring Food safety for food delivery, cleaning effectively in your business etc.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update

Impact on Google Core 7

Road to Recovery

      • This move calls in for a robust digital strategy. Plan and prepare to connect with your customers via communicating through regular updates on the website & apps.
      • This will not only help building trust with your loyal customers but help you gain new ones too.
      • Update delivery status on apps, provide content that resonates with users looking for healthy ingredients and recipes etc.



Gaming has grown by 50% from pre-Covid times. Cost per Installs for mobile gaming has dropped. Some old games that got popularity during the lockdown include Ludo King, UNO, Scrabble, PUBG etc. Online games that provide opportunities for virtual bonding or multiplayer opportunities such as Bingo, Pictionary, Tambola have gained quite a user base. Sports enthusiast are turning to fantasy sports due to cancellation of live sports. Puzzle games have seen increased engagement too.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update 

Impact on Google Core 8

Road to Recovery

      • Mobile Game downloads are on the rise. Optimizing, UI-UX, page load speed, ASO optimization are key here.
      • Pay attention to customer sentiments. Address negative reviews and resolve them at the earliest



OTT business has and will make a dent on TV viewership as a lot of people have subscribed to OTT. Globally lot of products are released on Netflix and Amazon. In India, Hotstar grew in subscriptions. Hotstar’s tie up with Disney has given its users access to a wide catalogue of Disney.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update 

Impact on Google Core 9

Road to Recovery

      • For increasing percentage of paid subscribers and differentiating from rivals, players are focusing on bringing in original content.
      • OTT platforms provide access to global userbase, thus acting as the most profitable medium for movie releases.
      • Hence the competition is fierce in buying new film release rights. Offer value packages to users. Remarketing can be useful in terms of targeting the affiliate audience.



Global economy has seen a major slowdown due to different factors that act as an add on strain. Tourism, entertainment, Travel, disturbances in supply chain, manufacturing etc., had made it challenging for banks to maintain good assets and earnings.


Performance Before v/s After the Core Update 

Impact on Google Core 10

Road to Recovery

      • Customer service and advice provision under this sector will move online. With increased online support, a strong content strategy & exceptional usage of Social Media to engage with users can lead to some great results for this domain as well.
      • Along with this, many users would be home wanting to invest this time in learning various aspects of finance, banking and commerce to improve their financial literacy.
      • This can also be used to boost the online presence by providing consistent value to the user during Covid-19.



Manufacturing Sector is known to be the backbone of any economy. As of 2018, the manufacturing sector contributed nearly 16% of the Global GDP. The sector has come to a standstill with the advent of the Covid – 19 Pandemic. These factors have affected the Manufacturing sector in multiple ways:

      • The lack of labour in factories has affected the production leading to factory shutdowns which in turn has resulted in supply drops.
      • According to United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD), due to the Covid-19, the Global FDI has shrunk by 5%-15%.
      • Major industries such as Electronics, Automobile, Aviation, Chemical have seen the biggest hit.
      • Location plays a crucial role as well as the lockdown was announced in different countries at different times cutting the routes for raw materials as well as limiting the import & export of goods.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update 

Impact on Google Core 11

Road to Recovery

      • Manufacturing should invest in activities such as SEO, that introduces your brand and your offerings to searchers.
      • Work on getting reviews and client testimonials that help build credibility.
      • Content optimization such as creating videos that demonstrate your credibility etc.



As Work-From-Home, social distancing, video calls have become the new normal in our lives, the telecom sector has been the backbone during these quarantine times. Remote Working, Video/Tele-conferencing & telecommunications have quickly become the new buzzwords for all of us. Due to this, the telecom sector has seen a massive spike, but let us see how it fared out after the Google Core Update.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update

Impact on Google Core 12

Road to Recovery

      • The Telecom sector can use this time to work on their digital footprint.
      • Providing value to the users now is the best way to go forward & communicating that value proposition using digital medium is imperative for the sector to grow consistently.



Customers in these times are looking for only those products/services which are an absolute necessity for them. We are seeing a dip in luxury products and a rise for those daily need essentials. This will continue to happen until we see some positive news coming out.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update 

Impact on Google Core 13

Road to Recovery

      • Going forward, the key for growth in this industry would be exceptional customer service by providing value to them and solving their problems by constantly engaging with them through Social Media & other platforms.
      • A good content strategy is also important to increase engagement.
      • Google My Business can also be a handy tool for local businesses to connect with the users and ensure that they are not being missed out in the clutter.



The Travel industry has seen a sharp negative impact as the lockdown rules have restricted movement and the cross-country travel has become negligible. Apart from this, the job losses that this industry has seen have been massive. The Indian tourism industry is projected to book a revenue loss of Rs 1.25 trillion in calendar 2020.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update 

Impact on Google Core 15

Road to Recovery

      • In these turbulent times, the travel industry can engage with their users through exceptional moment marketing content on Social Media, giving out regular updates on what is going on with their sector through content marketing and engage with the users at the same time.
      • Focusing on the digital assets by doing SEO now can be beneficial too.


The healthcare stands at the centre of all the chaos that the world has been plunged into. This has given the private sector to rise to the occasion by offering to the government all the support it needs. Be it with Testing Support, Preparing Isolation Beds for treatment, providing the best industry experts to deal with this matter firsthand.

Some of the major problems this sector has seen are:

      • Sharp drops in OP footfalls, surgeries, international patients etc.
      • Constant focus of the entire workforce to deal with the cases of Covid-19.
      • The local clinics who aren’t tied to a big brand faced some loss in business.

Performance Before v/s After the Core Update

Impact on Google Core 16

Road to Recovery

      • This sector has a massive opportunity to bring out relevant pieces of content to make the masses aware of how they can survive this pandemic.
      • Apart from this, with the advent of digital platforms, many small-scale clinic doctors can find a way to start online diagnosis, hence going digital is the perfect opportunity for this industry.


In these Covid-19 times along with the Google Core Update, we would recommend brands to study the requirements of your users and consumers. Identify and plan to better align your digital strategies and make the most through the online medium. The lockdown is a good time to invest in aligning your business to adapting the new normal and digitize!

Key Takeaways

      • Provide regular updates and information to your clients
      • Sensitize and strategize your Advertising communication
      • Study and act on the shifts in the customer behaviour
      • Invest in digital process optimizations that will add on lifetime value to your business
      • Test waters post Covid-19. Measure key optimizations activities undertaken during COVID-19 to understand wins and losses. This will help in better decision making
      • Analyze-What are consumers expectations and how is the brand aiming to achieve a satisfied customer

To know more about how to recapture the online market post Covid-19, check out this Webinar session on Accelerating Business recovery post Covid-19