Why I'm Bullish on TikTok Search in 2024

Posted by Nic Bivens on December 29, 2023

What's up fellow kids?

It's me...a zoomer who thinks that they are hip and keeping up with the latest trends and culture.

For better or for worse, it is the job of an SEO to keep up with the everchanging culture. We have to see track user behaviors and adjust our strategies accordingly.

Why I'm excited about TikTok Search

Anecdotally, I have been shocked how much I've been using TikTok lately to find content.

A couple of days ago, I was wondering why we're supposed to use olive oil as opposed to things like vegetable oil. Why was there a war on seed oils?

Normally, this would have been something for a Google search. But again, I've been using TikTok a lot lately. I decided to search it there instead of Google. What I found was a 2-min video. It gave me the answer I was looking for quicker than YouTube (which promotes long-form content) and faster than if I were to read the top search results on Google.

We want answers quick these days and TikTok has an entire platform built around the quick-bites concept. While they are pushing for their 10 minute videos right now, I would say most everything I see in my feed is in that 1-3 minute range. Their creators aren't trying to deluge you with too much information. They want you to get in and get out.

This simple search is why I'm bullish on TikTok search in 2024.

Let's be clear, TikTok is not a search engine (yet). It's a social media platform that just happens to do search really well. It's only going to get more sophisticated with time. That makes me excited. It means that developing a good content strategy for TikTok now has the potential to pay off BIG time.

I'm going to start doing TikTok keyword research for my clients and start posting short videos for them on there. I think it has the opportunity to be a big revenue generator for their business in the coming year and beyond.

Why I'm concerned about TikTok Search

They are pushing TikTok Shopping a lot more recently. That is concerning because it shifts the intent of users on the platform. If they keep on this road, they are positioning TikTok to be an Amazon competitor and not a Google one.

I think this is a mistake. Google has been taking some L's lately and people are looking for alternatives in the age of AI. TikTok offers an alternative where authenticity and real people dominate the algorithm. And that is a good thing.

Amazon on the other hand is an dominant as ever. TikTok might be able to steal a little bit of marketshare, but ultimately they will never dethrone Amazon as currently constituted. But I feel TikTok could unseat Google search, in particular YouTube, if they stay on their current path.

Instagram Reels doesn't care about search. YouTube Shorts do, but haven't received nearly the traction you'd expect from a company that cares about its video content.

TikTok is well-positioned as the premier short form video content platform. However, their search differentiates them from the competition...not their shop. They should continue to focus on having people bring good content to the platform, not people shilling the latest fashion item or trendy toy.

2024 will be big for TikTok and I will be monitoring them closely. Right now though, I'm bullish. What do you think about TikTok?

(Leave the privacy and political concerns out of it though please).

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