How TikTok is Changing SEO  

October 12, 2022

For over a decade now, Google has dominated its space in the search engine world so much that the phrase “google it” is now understood as a verb. By mastering the craft of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google has remained the top-ranking search engine platform in the world. They are leading searches by a big margin. In fact, more than 92% of all search queries are performed through Google’s platform. Therefore, it’s even more surprising to learn that a new content platform, TikTok, is exploding into the social marketing scene so quickly that, for the first time, digital marketing SEO is no longer exclusive to Google.

How has TikTok come to influence SEO, and what does it mean for the future of content creation? The digital marketing team at ContentFirst.Marketing has been following TikTok’s marketing influence since 2020. Let’s explore some important changes with SEO.

What is SEO? Why is it Important?

All internet content is “crawled” almost instantly every time a search takes place. Complicated algorithms evaluate the usefulness of the information as it relates to the query. Then, a list of the most useful and usable information is ranked and put onto a list of results.

The higher your website ranks on a search engine results page (SERP), the more likely prospects will see you and click through your site. The competition to rank high on SERP is massive, so it’s critical to make your website stand out among the rest.

There are specific steps and strategies that you can use in your content creation that is favorable to the algorithms that are factored into the SERP rank. These strategic marketing elements make up SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing tool that directly affects your ranking on SERP. It makes your website more visible, driving more traffic and providing opportunities to convert an audience into customers.

Social Media Marketing and SEO

It’s no secret that social media has forever changed the digital world of human interaction and communication. The demand for social media marketing has seamlessly integrated itself into all other digital domains. For content creators and brand marketers, learning social media SEO for TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, is vital to bring visibility of the right content to new audiences.

TikTok as a Search Engine

TikTok has an internal search engine for TikTok content. It’s dedicated to a particular format and area of focus- video. Here’s what makes TikTok search appealing.


  • Many individuals retain information better when presented in a visual format. Visuals impact an audience significantly, especially Gen Z users who desire a visual representation of the information they search online.


  • While users can get visual and textual information on Google, it requires sorting more content to get what you need. TikTok’s format, on the other hand, delivers faster, more efficient informational videos that are straight to the point.


  • TikTok search is more passive, whereas Google search is more intentional. With TikTok, users scroll through the app hoping to find entertainment, financial advice, recipe ideas, or a new favorite beauty product.

User-generated content

  • TikTok offers relatable content for everyday consumers on an endless number of topics. For example, TikTok users love and connect with user-generated material like reviews, advice, and tips.

How is TikTok Changing SEO?

SEO is about putting the right content in front of the users at the right time. To achieve this goal, digital media marketers must provide content where users are looking for it, and right now, that’s TikTok. With more than 1 billion TikTok users across all demographics, social media marketers are scrambling to increase their visibility on TikTok. This means it is changing the digital landscape for SEO. Users want to stand out among the competition and growing the value of their content. Moreover, creators will need to be up-to-date and knowledgeable of the latest factors influencing TikTok SEO.

Keyword optimization in captions

  • Google “crawls” TikTok content, so TikTok creators need to use relevant keywords in TikTok captions to improve their content’s SEO and get onto SERPs. Use with caution, though. Like with traditional website content SEO, avoid keyword stuffing and repetition.

Using Hashtags

  • TikTok’s algorithm is tailored to promote content that utilizes trending hashtags. Using hashtags that are optimized for keywords is one way to improve your SEO as well. Be sure to avoid using too many hashtags, as this can ruin the in-app user experience.

Levels of user engagement

  • A big part of SEO is user engagement. Things that make a difference are likes, comments, and sharing content all influence how social media algorithms favor some content over others. Similarly, better-performing TikTok videos are more likely to appear in SERPS because Google perceives them as valuable to users based on users’ responses.

TikTok Influences the Growing Demand for Short-form Videos

Is TikTok a threat to Google? No. Is TikTok worth the attention of SEO? Yes. Although most users still trust Google significantly more than TikTok, the shift toward TikTok as a search engine is worth paying attention to these changes. Short-form videos are in demand, and it’s time to consider adding this to your marketing strategy. Tech giants know this demand and have responded by doubling down on content creation focused on short-form video.

  • Google: Web Stories and YouTube Shorts
  • Facebook/Instagram: Reels

TikTok and the Future of SEO

TikTok’s algorithm and massive platform growth drive the demand for new and creative digital marketing content. With support for short-form videos from Google and other tech giants at an all-time high, the time to consider adding this format to your digital marketing strategy is now.

Optimizing SEO for TikTok doesn’t mean you must abandon the content you’re creating. Instead, consider how to make that same content discoverable on TikTok. One route is repurposing traditional content, for example, you can try adapting web articles for short-form videos.

Establish a Successful SEO Strategy with ContentFirst.Marketing

Implementing an SEO strategy for your business is a necessity in the marketing world. Contact our team of digital marketing experts at ContentFirst.Marketing. We are confident that our knowledgeable team can help you diversify your content creation and increase your brand’s visibility and influence. Contact us today!