‘Video SEO’ is about to become paramount to ‘SEO’ (Search Engine Optimization).
Google’s search results are now showing TikTok results in the search, a result of the TikTok-Google partnership announced last year.
Here is an example from a Google search (organic) on ‘Video SEO YouTube Tiktok’ via @ThinkMediaOfficial about how to use TikTok for SEO.
TikTok SEO for Google Search
One has to wonder, amid the various shifting sands in the Search Engine market, how this will impact the majority of SEO strategies:
- Gen Z are using TikTok as their primary search engine in many cases
- Gen AI products like Perplexity are showing a more sophisticated level of search for knowledge-based queries
- Consumer skepticism about AI-based blog writers is increasing amid batches of new ‘AI content’ flooding the SERPs
- Google continues to experiment with SGE (Search Generative Experience) and has recently rebranded Bard as ‘Gemini’ as they start to focus more on AI + Search Ads
Why Does Gen Z Use TikTok for Search?
There are various ‘opinions’ based on what % of Gen Z use TikTok as their primary search engine, but what we do know is that a greater % of them are using ‘social media’ to search than other generations.
The why differs, but according to recent surveys, the reasons are:
- #1 – 69% prefer the video format of results
- #2 – 65% see more relatable answers
- #3 – 47% see more personalized answers
Point #1 probably explains where we are going in the ‘future of search’ as much as anything. The Internet is evolving, and the bandwidth required to scale video across multiple platforms – including search – may now be available.
Trust will be another factor that needs to be examined at a deeper level going forward as well. Many types of AI-Generated written content are flooding the search engines;’ yet not only is there a general distrust of this type of content, but 54% of consumers reportedly are able to detect content generated principally by AI.
Video is a medium that is harder to spoof.
Will we see AI Bots flooding video in the future?
It seems likely that the answer is yes, and that’s why Livestreams will likely become a part of the search, from which YouTube is one of the dominant mediums.
YouTube & Video Search
TikTok has become the dominant platform for short-form video, but YouTube (owned by Google) very much remains prominent for long-form video content.
Paid subscriptions now generate $15 billion in annual revenue, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during the company’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday. Pichai credited YouTube for delivering the lion’s share of subscriptions growth, thanks to a mix of paid services that includes live television, music, ad-free online content, and live sports.Fortune
A lot of search terms where TikTok videos show up will thus be preceded by YouTube search results, which is progressively becoming a more dominant hub for live, long-form video content.
YouTube rings up a lot of its revenue from Ads ($9.2 Billion in Q4 ’23), and obviously Google derives the lion’s share of its revenue from Search Ads. But Subscriptions are correlated to the quality of long-form content, and in this sense YouTube is seeing a major revival.
Thus it’s not just that we would expect to see more TikTok videos in Google search, but also more YouTube videos.
Google’s Search Results Appearing in TikTok
Let’s not also forget the reciprocal relationships in the Google-TikTok partnership where Google’s search results also show up on TikTok.
How this will manifest going forward in TikTok is uncertain, but despite all the competition and innovation in the Search space, Google remains by far the dominant platform.
Video SEO? Let’s Go
It seems that even Instagram videos are slated to start showing up in Google search.
There are multiple advantages to video-based methods to convey information for search:
- Younger generations prefer the format of video
- Trust issues with AI-Generated content showing up in search have emerged, and these issues are more likely to show up in written content
- Social-commerce models (live shopping, video commerce, etc.) will continue to emerge and that content is built on rich, high-quality video that will progressively surface more in search
Written and image-driven content will continue to remain relevant. In many ways, that’s the type of content that hypergrowth, AI-based search engine Perplexity is indexing. There are many types of knowledge-based queries that are driven by:
- encyclopedic, in-depth written content that cannot be synthesized into video
- statistics, graphs, and cited facts that need text-based references
- historically-relevant content that remains the most accurate by search standards over time
But when it comes to a lot of more ‘contemporary’ and product-based queries, TikTok has been taking over in terms of mind-share. Beating TikTok at short-form video content seems impossible at this point . Thus Google has decided to join ’em, and the results are coming to a search feed near you!