Bing’s Coronavirus tracker allows you to filter data, news and video by region
In light of the ongoing pandemic, Bing has launched a Coronavirus tracker that shows the number of confirmed cases worldwide. This new resource from Bing allows users to view recent news or videos by region. The data can be split into active, recovered, and fatal cases for each region. Bing isn’t the only search engine that is revealing the new trackers – other search engines are also adding new information to their results page to help people to keep up to date with the daily changes of the virus. An example of this is Google, which has added a new SOS Alert (that includes safety tips) and an ‘affected area’ rich results box on the search results pages.
Schema.org has added new structured data types relating to COVID-19
On March 16th, Schema revealed that its published version of 7.0 contains all the new structured data types that were created due to the current COVID-19 crisis. One of the data types is the new “SpecialAnnouncement” property that allows for updates – specifically an announcement relating to a situation, for example, the Coronavirus crisis. Also, the new “eventAttendanceMode” property can be implemented to the Event structured data type that allows organisers to convey information to people relating to event attendance. When these new data markups from Schema become supported by search engines, businesses and other organisations can start to implement them on their sites to get clearer messages across to people regarding the current situation for events taking place.
YouTube has warned users that there is a higher risk of videos being removed
YouTube is increasing the usage of automation to review content being uploaded onto the platform during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many of their employees are working remotely. Previously, flagged videos would be reviewed by Google employees and assessed as necessary. However, this will no longer be the case, meaning there could be an increase in videos being removed due to having no human review.
Why brands & restaurants need “coronapages” and FAQs now more than ever
Big-name brands and restaurants are under more pressure than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The advice that is given by governments across the world – encouraging people to self-isolate and only travel if essential – now means that people are relying more on food delivery. But some people are concerned over food hygiene standards, presenting a problem for businesses in this industry.
In light of the coronavirus, new forms of data markup have been released that should be implemented by restaurants in order for valuable information to be recognised by search engines such as Google and Bing. Many businesses would benefit from creating a COVID-19 FAQ page to address potential customer concerns, which could have an impact on whether the customer places an order. Other methods recommended by Google include changing business hours on Google My Business and using Posts to send out any updates.
Businesses need to do all they can during this difficult time to communicate any changes to normal business operations due to COVID-19. Many businesses have already sent emails to customers, but social media and search should also be used to reach a much wider audience and to avoid any confusion.
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