The global outbreak of COVID-19 has led to rapid changes in the way people have been using the web since January 2020. The barometer consists of structured data from our Public Data, Traffic Index, and a daily scan of over 1 million company websites worldwide. Thanks to our historical data, we can compare online trends between the pre-coronavirus period and now and infer the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This monitor will be updated multiple times a week with new data and new perspectives.

Upcoming - WEEK 17

Emerging COVID-19 websites

Since January 2020, new websites that contain corona/covid-19 related content have been popping up. We have analyzed those newly developed websites by grouping content keywords into several topics. The most popular content has informational character, such as news and statistics. Some of those new websites already have significant traffic, for example websites where people can track the number of COVID-19 cases.

Furthermore, we see new e-commerce websites selling COVID-19 personal protective equipment or even COVID-19 t-shirts. Other popular keywords are health-related, such as ‘vaccines’, ‘treatment’, and ‘test kits’.

Upcoming - WEEK 17

Growing popularity of health agencies

In these uncertain times people are increasingly searching for reliable information about COVID-19. We have analyzed our Traffic Index for several national public health agencies, and it is clear people worldwide are turning to those websites for latest updates.

The web traffic to the US health agency has increased four times in April compared to January and to the German health agency by a stunning factor of 170 (the scale in the top bar graph is logarithmic).

We have also checked our database of links where we keep track of all hostnames that link to each other: bar graph 2 points out a substantial increase in incoming links in all countries, with Germany taking the lead.

Economy - WEEK 16

Website categories and Covid-19 (1/2)

At we categorize websites using SIC (Standard Industrial Classification). By looking into website keywords, we can analyze which website categories have the most mentions of COVID-19 related keywords and content about closing their companies or canceling events.

We have looked into COVID-19 related keywords per SIC category and the bar chart shows that websites in the categories "Health Services", "Justice", and "Transportation" started mentioning COVID-19 already in the period January-February. In March we see a large increase in other categories as well, with "Health Services" websites taking the lead.

Economy - WEEK 16

Website categories and Covid-19 (2/2)

The bar chart shows website categories that mention "closed/postponed/canceled" and similar keywords which indicate that companies are closing or events are getting canceled: we see the growth started later, namely in the period February-March; this is when the pandemic started affecting people on a worldwide scale. We can see a 150% increase in these keywords on websites in the category "Health Services" followed by the "Justice" category.

Upcoming - WEEK 16

HIV and malaria drugs on the rise in web content

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, scientists have been testing drugs against coronavirus. Among some of the most discussed medicines and substances are hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, chloroquine, and azithromycin used to treat malaria and Lopinavir and Ritonavir used to treat HIV. On 16 March first patients were injected with a trial coronavirus vaccine in Seattle; this can account for the spike in registered domains containing the names of those drugs.

The second bar graph shows the daily change in registered domain names containing the names of those drugs. There was a 55% increase in mentions in March, as the pandemic reached a global scale. A big number of these domain names are for sale: the people who own them might try to take advantage of the rising popularity of the drugs and sell them for a higher price later on.

Economy - WEEK 15

Canceled events and closed companies

We have looked into the number of the following keyword occurrences in both English and Dutch: “closed”, “shut down”, “canceled”, "cancelled", “postponed”. We assume they indicate that a company has been closed or an event has been canceled.

Companies tend to close and events get canceled due to seasonal holidays. However, in 2020 there is a spike in this number compared to 2019. Graph 1 shows the percentage increase in closed companies and canceled events in the USA, Netherlands, UK, and Australia: we can see it is almost 20% higher in the Netherlands.

Graph 2 indicates the extent of closed companies and canceled events in the Netherlands compared to 2019. The effect of seasonal holidays throughout 2019 is obvious, whereas we can account for the sudden spike in March 2020 to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries - WEEK 15

Fast emerging keywords

We have detected fast emerging keywords in our daily data. As expected, we see a lot of coronavirus related keywords. If we look at the keywords per country, we notice some subtle differences: in the US they talk about "update" and "response", while in Italy they use "emergency", and in the Netherlands and Germany - "crisis".

Furthermore, if we draw upon those keywords, we can see some of the measures that have been taken in the different countries: for example, in Italy "stay at home" and in the UK "lockdown". Keywords such as "canceled" and "postponed" are more frequently seen in our daily data now than before December 2019.

Battle - WEEK 15

E-commerce on the rise

It is a tough time for brick and mortar stores now with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to stay at home and shops to close down. Yet this might open the way for new e-commerce websites to emerge.

In March we saw an overall increase of 7% in e-commerce websites compared to February. But it seems that not all shopping cart systems and platforms are equally popular. The graph shows that the number of websites using WooCommerce and Shopify has increased, while Magento shows no growth at all.

We can infer that businesses want to launch new online stores quickly and therefore prefer CMS plugins and shopping platforms to systems that take more effort to implement such as Magento. The spike in Shopify’s growth is even more notable, as we saw a small but steady decline in websites using Shopify in the past months.

Small-business - WEEK 14

Online stores with COVID-19 related keywords

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more online stores appear to contain keywords related to the coronavirus crisis. This means they might be closed or have delivery issues as a result of the pandemic, thus using COVID-19 related keywords on their websites.

Before 2020, we don’t see any occurrences of COVID-19 keywords. The numbers skyrocketed starting from February 2020.

Battle - WEEK 14

Battle of the online video conference apps

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people across the globe have switched to working remotely.

We can clearly see this in our Traffic Index which indicates a significant increase in traffic to video conference and chat apps. We have looked at the traffic to Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack and we notice it has almost tripled in March compared to February.

Ecommerce - WEEK 14

Online stores offering COVID-19 related items

We see an increase in websites offering COVID-19 related items such as face masks.

The bar graph shows the changes in the use of face mask related keywords in four industry categories - beauty and fashion, health, home and garden, and food and nutrition, distributed in four different countries. There is a significant rise in the home and garden industry as well as in the health sector.

The graph shows a comparison between the average number of shops selling face masks between 2019 and 2020.

Technology - WEEK 14

Domain registrations with Corona & Remote

During the last two months we have seen a tremendous increase in domain registrations containing the word “corona”. In January, there were hardly any new registrations, but throughout March the number of daily registrations has skyrocketed to over 10K.

Also the domain registrations that contain the word “remote” have increased significantly over the last month. Probably this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forces many people to work remotely at the moment.


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The barometer consists of structured data from our Public Data, Traffic Index, and a daily scan of over 1 million company websites worldwide and helps us track the latest changes in the web. We scan those websites on 210 different data points and we compare them on a daily basis.

We use an anonymized dataset of a worldwide pool of DNS servers to estimate the traffic. The DNS servers process over 75 billion global requests from over 1 million unique global locations. Because the coverage differs per country, we extrapolate it based on the number of internet users in a country. We filter out bot traffic by looking at unusual behavior and anomalies in the traffic data. The traffic index shows traffic compared to Google.