In times of crisis, interests change. The typical news cycle has been tossed to make way for a flood of COVID-19 coverage, updates on local government responses and ideas on how to make the best of quarantine.

There’s no doubt about it—news about COVID-19 and its effects is definitely the star of the show. Check out our recent analysis about the effects of Coronavirus on publishers here.

News Categories that Have Grown, and Those That Have Not

We wanted to know just how much the events of the past week have effected the news cycle, and in what way. We looked at the number of unique users last quarter and compared it to the number of unique users last week, in each category.

The result was a spike in readership for topics related to local news, government & politics, and business as people turn their attention to the pandemic and its effects. Lifestyle content, technology and computing content have also seen an increase while readers seemed to have de-prioritized gaming, sports, and arts & entertainment content.

It’s not just enough to see the wave, we want to also understand why it’s rising. We’re diving into each of these categories in the Taboola network to surface trends and strategies that are working across the globe.

Business: COVID-19’s Effect on Businesses Across the Globe, and the Move to Working From Home

As many people are under lockdown, partial lockdown, or have chosen to self quarantine in fear of spreading the virus, businesses of all shapes and sizes have been effected—especially those that rely on brick and mortar operations for businesses.

Some of the top traffic-driving organic headlines on our network this week include predictions for the stock market, business operations of the future, and the impact hitting brick and mortar establishments today:

Much of this interest has to do with the topics themselves—the volatile nature of business operations and revenue is paramount while we all adjust to a new way of working.

But beyond just traffic, taking a look at CTR trends on our top headlines from publisher sponsored content reveals another story. People aren’t only interested in the market at large, but how remote work, online interactions, salaries, and a work from home lifestyle will effect them.

These pieces drove some of the highest CTRs in the past week:

They make sense, since these are the keywords in the Business category driving the highest CTRs:

Readers are hungry for content that reveals not only the state of the markets and business world, but what they can do in response.

Local News & General News: Real-time Updates on the COVID-19 ‘What’s What’

Both of these categories are driving massive amounts of traffic with general and local updates on the pandemic. These headlines from organic content in our network are a great sample of what’s driving interest:

A deeper dive into our sponsored content categories shows high CTRs on content related to personal accounts and experiences related to the pandemic, as well as interest in the recent diagnosis of some celebrities and political figures. Here are some examples:

These line up with some of the recent keyword trends we’ve seen in the news category as of late:

Don’t forget about personal interest stories as well as general news updates when considering your next round of valuable content—people are interested in both as the pandemic spreads.

Government and Politics: Relief Checks, Government Shutdowns and India’s New Lockdown

When we take a look into the organic political news driving the most traffic, we see a lot of buzz around relief checks and statements from Donald Trump about the state of the Coronavirus in the US:

A look into publisher sponsored content reveals further interest in content related to reader’s local governments, like these examples related to New York City’s Cuomo or Malaysia’s Muhyiddin:

This checks out when we take a look at some of the top keywords trending in the politics category this week:

Lifestyle: Finances, What to Buy in Quarantine, Where to Find Toilet Paper (And of Course, Cats)

Our lifestyles have now officially changed (at least for the short-term), and many online readers are interested in how they can mitigate some of the volatility they’re experiencing. This includes financial advice, items they’ll need in quarantine, what to do about the toilet paper shortage, and of course, cats.

Here are some of the top traffic drivers:

A deeper dive into our sponsored content from publishers shows high CTRs on topics like where to buy certain items, what to do if you’re sick, and possibly picking up and moving to somewhere safer:

This in line with the keyword trends we’re seeing this week:

Consider helpful content related to highly desired items, health and other lifestyle related topics that are relevant while most people are at home.

Technology and Computing: What’s on Sale, and How Does Tech Gear Fit Into a Work From Home Life

When it comes to technology and computing news, a lot of people are interested in what’s on sale right now. Check out some of the top organic publisher content:

When we take a look at the sponsored content, we see interest into how technology companies are responding to COVID-19, work from home security concerns and technology’s role in homeschooling. Here are some examples:

These example recommendations are in line with some of the top content we’re seeing on our network:

It’s clear that the pandemic we’re facing has taken over reader’s interest on the open web today—and the news cycle has been effected in more ways that we can count, with almost every category shifting focus to the Coronavirus in one way or another.

As you strive to bring value to readers and site visitors at home, consider some of the ways you can assist them in their daily life today by providing information about about local government action, the effects of political decisions on their lives, lifestyle changes they may have to make and a possible transition to a work from home environment.

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