Is TikTok Going to Exchange Google?


The writer’s views are totally his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and will not at all times mirror the views of Moz.

TikTok has completely taken the world by storm since 2020. And it’s not only for the youngsters — with over 1 billion customers, it’s fashionable throughout all demographics.

Consumer conduct on TikTok has been evolving as its recognition grows. We’ve seen the app go from dancing youngsters to influencing purchasing conduct internationally.

Now the subsequent step for TikTok appears to be turning into the subsequent large search engine.

Is TikTok the brand new Google?

Quick reply: no.

TikTok is an inside search engine for TikTok content material. It’s devoted to a specific space of focus and a specific format: video.

There are a number of various factors at play in how we select the search engine to unravel our want within the second, however on the finish of the day, TikTok and Google fulfill very totally different search intents.

Why do customers search on TikTok?

We’re seeing TikTok take market share from Google in verticals comparable to meals, gardening, and journey. These are low stakes searches the place the result is unlikely to trigger you hurt. Because you don’t want an ideal or factual reply, you need to use TikTok to search out it.

TikTok’s video format makes much more sense in the event you’re on the lookout for solutions the place the visible issues. Date spots in your metropolis or a gardening tutorial are excellent searches for the platform.

One more reason customers select TikTok is that the reply will at all times be supplied by a subject skilled, not a distinct segment blogger. Social proof abounds, as you possibly can assess the experience of your supply by wanting on the feedback and variety of views, likes, and followers.

A number of considerations have been raised in regards to the unfold of misinformation on TikTok, as they’ve in most different content material platforms. Nonetheless, these are barely extra worrying on TikTok as a result of it has an unprecedented potential for virality, and a big, younger consumer base, who’re extra simply influenced throughout content material discovery than throughout energetic search.

Customers are even trying to find TikTok content material on Google, with queries comparable to “TikTok pasta”, amassing 1,778 searches per 30 days within the US:

Moz Pro keyword suggestions for

Branded queries on Google for TikTok content material have a mixed month-to-month search quantity of 30.1 million within the US alone. However within the spirit of transparency, I’ll share that the majority of these are usually not PG (and even PG-13).

Lively search vs. content material discovery

There are two key behaviors on TikTok we should differentiate: energetic search and content material discovery.

Content material discovery

Content material discovery is the primary conduct on TikTok and it’s the one we’re most conversant in. It is when the consumer is scrolling by way of the app, passively hoping to search out leisure, monetary recommendation, recipe concepts, or a brand new favourite magnificence product.

Customers have been having fun with a constructive content material discovery expertise on TikTok for years. They’ve discovered new eating places or a selfie angle that makes them appear like Kylie Jenner.

That is the important thing to understanding TikTok’s rise as a search engine: This constructive content material discovery expertise has earned the customers’ belief. They know that the content material they wish to eat is on TikTok. So when the necessity arises, they flip to the video platform first.

Lively search

This leads us into energetic search. Lively search is when a consumer varieties a selected query into TikTok’s search field.

On TikTok, customers can seamlessly scroll by way of the entire content material that solutions their question, with out having to open a number of tabs on their browser. This improves consumer satisfaction, reduces friction and, most significantly, teaches TikTok the most effective reply. Extra on that later.

Let’s discuss psychology

Persuasion resistance is a pure psychological protection after we really feel like somebody is making an attempt to govern us into shopping for, doing, or considering one thing. We understand persuasion as a menace and we attempt to transfer away from it or oppose it.

Over a decade in the past, the internet advertising trade began to fret a couple of lower within the CTR of their show adverts. Pop-ups bought dismissed, banners went ignored. Customers had caught onto advertisers: we have been making an attempt to promote them one thing.

This triggered a phenomenon recognized to psychologists as persuasion resistance. Advertisers known as this response “banner blindness”. As an trade, we developed 4 totally different methods to counter this resistance to persuasion.

  1. First, we began making our adverts appear like they have been a part of the content material. We known as these “native adverts”.

  2. Then, we began putting the adverts in surprising locations, the place customers have been much less more likely to be bracing themselves to be offered to.

  3. We began making adverts a bit of bit extra related to the context, in order that they felt much less intrusive.

  4. Lastly, we moved into social proof, and we began leveraging the facility of belief. Thus influencer advertising and marketing was born.

TikTok leverages these 4 methods to counter resistance to persuasion by design. How do they do it?

  • Creators are paid for his or her content material by way of the Creator Fund, based mostly on what number of views or engagement their movies get. They’re incentivized to make high quality, participating content material that customers will take pleasure in, not simply by making offers with manufacturers.

  • They commonly showcase their magnificence routines, style, or dwelling merchandise, with or with out a model sponsorship. This makes affiliate or sponsored content material look identical to common content material.

  • Their adverts are served in precisely the identical format as their common content material, with a small tag letting that it’s promoted content material.

  • All of the movies have an recognized creator, seen like and think about counts, and open feedback. Social proof abounds!

However web optimization isn’t paid social or influencer advertising and marketing. So why ought to we care?

web optimization is now omnichannel

Placing the precise content material in entrance of customers on the proper time is on the core of what we do. If we wish to maintain attaining this aim, we should present content material the place the consumer is on the lookout for it.

As expertise integrates additional into our lives, we’ve seen the rise of multisearch. Google created the time period as a option to combine their Google Lens performance into the way in which we talk about search and web optimization.

Screenshot of mobile Google home page suggesting visual search.

We now search by asking our dwelling assistant gadgets questions or taking an image of a tree we don’t acknowledge. We search on Google Maps, on Youtube, on Instagram and even on Amazon.

The times when web optimization was about responding to a question in a search field are lengthy gone.

By placing our content material out on TikTok and optimizing it for search, we’re serving to customers discover our content material once they want it, the place they need it, and within the format they selected to eat it.

TikTok on the SERPs

SERP showing TikTok video search results for

An omnichannel web optimization technique will allow you to work together together with your customers past your personal area, and it could actually assist your model take up extra actual property within the SERPs.

Google is making an attempt to diversify the domains they present on search, so if you wish to function within the SERPs a number of occasions, you’ll need to distribute your model’s content material throughout totally different domains.

TikTok’s web site has over 31 million pages constructed programmatically round matters, hashtags, and sounds:

Screenshot showing number of search results for TikTok.

Subject pages make up probably the most of their URLs and visitors, and appear to be constructed based mostly on hashtags used, together with some type of machine studying consolidation of their variations. These embody associated movies, matters, customers, hashtags, and sounds.

Screenshot of increasing TikTok visibility index.

Primarily based on the information accessible on totally different instruments, we all know that this part on TikTok’s web site has about 157 million month-to-month natural clicks.

Primarily based on the numbers alone, the good thing about having your content material function in these pages is clear.

Industries that needs to be on TikTok

TikTok serves you content material based mostly on what the algorithm has decided you’ll take pleasure in, not based mostly on who you comply with. So customers always uncover new creators.

The TikTok algorithm does a genuinely good job at discovering your pursuits or serving to you uncover stuff that you simply like. These matters of curiosity grow to be small niches with their very own identify.

Very similar to a subreddit, TikTok has unofficial “toks”. You could find niches comparable to book-tok, finance-tok, food-tok, and lots of others.

Primarily based on the information, case research, and a few skilled opinions, there are industries that may really profit from being on the platform and surfacing content material tagged for these varied “toks”:

  • Sports activities groups

  • Streaming companies and entertainers

  • Trend and sweetness manufacturers

  • Eating places and meals bloggers

  • Journey manufacturers and influencers

  • House and DIY content material creators and types

In case you suppose this checklist reminds you of the highest industries on Pinterest, you’re proper.

TikTok and Pinterest have loads in frequent. Each platforms prioritize content material discovery based mostly in your pursuits and serve primarily visible content material.

When recommended searches, the worth turns into clear after I begin typing key phrases sometimes related to an informational or industrial intent:

Side-by-side screenshots of TikTok search autopopulating suggested searches for

Whereas these are customized for every consumer, you possibly can see that others are trying to find content material that manufacturers or publishers have sometimes stored on their blogs and discover helpful for his or her companies.

Manufacturers trying to improve their model consciousness can profit from being on TikTok no matter their trade. In any case, no person anticipated the success Duolingo has had on the platform.

@duolingo this dumpy is actually a single mother who works 2 jobs #Duolingo #fgoogletranslate #DuaLipa #Dulapeep #Dualingo #comedy #development #twerkit_twerkit ♬ Brujeria – ✿


Is TikTok threatening Google? No. Is it well worth the consideration of SEOs? Sure.

Over the subsequent few months, maintain a watch out for extra items on how one can take advantage of this upstart and unlikely content material discovery search engine. I might be writing in regards to the TikTok algorithm, what the search expertise seems like on TikTok, and the way to ensure your movies rank.


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