The Future of SEO

Last updated on: 2022


TikTok continues to take over but in new and unexpected ways! A recent study has discovered that more Gen Z social media users are choosing TikTok as their main search engine for anything from how-to guides to restaurant recommendations. Google continues to be the search engine of choice for other generations, but the kids of the age of the internet have seemingly turned from the widely used search engine for the charms of TikTok sociality. But how does advertising and marketing translate to this medium? What does the future of SEO look like, especially after committed efforts to Google’s optimization?

Gen Z’s new search engine preference is a game-changer to the future of SEO!


the future of SEO

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Seeing is Believing

With 40% of Gen Z users choosing TikTok Search over Google Search, it’s more than just the rise of short-form video and Gen Z’s preference for lo-fi content inspiring the choice. The wildly in-tune algorithm and huge platform that TikTok is only growing continues to change user behavior and consumption. Users want their questions to get answers, and they search TikTok like they do on YouTube, but to faster results from more efficient informational videos that are straight to the point. But it’s user-generated content in the form of reviews, tips and advice from relatable content creators that TikTok users want most. Users LOVE authentic UGC with 79% of users admitting that UGC is highly influential when shopping. If you haven’t realized already, the time to leverage TikTok’s marketing possibilities is now!

the future of SEO

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The change from feeds devoted to who you followed to TikTok’s For You being a feed devoted to what you follow was a paradigm shift for social media as it allowed a new wealth of knowledge across the internet to emerge. The new era of visual consumption has changed the way searches for content happen. There are new places for keywords to appear that could be crucial to optimizing just how successful TikTok’s search engine can be (although keyword targeting is not yet available to advertisers on TikTok). Longer bodies of text that come up in Google’s search results are not as appealing as the visual walkthroughs and the educational elements of TikTok’s videos. Recognizing this, Google has started to heavily promote Scene Search, allowing users to scan their surroundings for products or places to get more information and further suggestions. This information is then also presented in a mostly visual format. 

SEO-ing is Believing

Search ads are currently in beta at TikTok so TikTok and the future of SEO is still mainly a discussion point for the time being, but David Shapdour, Co-Founder and CEO of Social Native, writes for Forbes that “the introduction of TikTok SEO is a very appealing opportunity for marketers for a number of reasons. One, TikTok Search is far less saturated than Google’s. Two, TikTok’s competition to rank is still low, which may offer early-to-start marketers a welcome change in pace from Google’s competitive, hard-to-grow content marketing long game.”

Worth over $80 billion, the SEO industry is dominated by Google holding over 90% of the search engine market share. TikTok’s rise as a search engine makes the marketing possibilities endless for brands and creators alike! Industry experts project TikTok to make $12 billion in 2022, up from $4 billion in 2021. Though nowhere close to Google’s market cap of $1.4 trillion, TikTok taking the title of Most Visited Website last year has Google racing to meet the platform giant where it’s at.

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