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How TikTok and Reels are Impacting Your Google Results

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Posted on 01/06/2021 at 09:00 AM

How Social Media Short-form Video Will Impact your SEO in 2021 and Beyond!

Did you notice TikTok or Reels videos in your Google search results recently? You're not the only one, and it's a big deal!

Last week Google began testing a new carousel of short-form video results with direct links to relevant TikTok and Instagram Reels video clips (for specifically selected queries). Videos appear in the "Overview" category of search. These links do not, however, do what you may expect.

Rather than opening the video in the respective platform's mobile app (if installed), they link to the platform's mobile website. This is likely because users are more likely to hit their browser's back button and go back to Google after consuming the content. It should be noted that if the platforms apply enough pressure to Google, this could change, but for now, it stands as proof that brands that want to be found faster can improve their competitive advantage (and indeed SEO) by riding the short-form content wave. 

The feature appears to be a continuation (or evolution) of a feature tested earlier in 2020 within Google Discover.

Example of short-form video showing up in Search results.The digital marketers at Global Reach believe that Google is testing these results to prepare people for the introduction of their very own short-form service through YouTube, Shorts (originally called Tangi). YouTube Shorts is currently in Beta testing in India and will likely have a large impact on SEO and content strategy when it hits the United States. 

Engagement Matters!

Since Google is all about organizing the world's information in the most engaging way possible, Google is on track to become the top short-form content search engine out there as it has access to all of the platforms and can track video success by engagement (likes, comments, shares) and hashtags. This data, organized, will allow users to see the most relevant information that they are most likely to engage with. 

"Google has been indexing video content for years and partnered with Twitter on 2015 to index search results. It’s not clear to what extent it has any formal relationship with Facebook/Instagram or TikTok, however." - Techcrunch.com

Don't Get Too Excited... Yet.

This does appear to be a limited, early, test-phase feature as many users have not been able to replicate it. It currently only works on the Google app for mobile devices and on the mobile web, but will likely grow as the algorithm is updated daily. For this reason, and many more, be sure to include Instagram Reels, TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and maybe even Twitter's Fleets in your 2021 Digital Marketing strategy! 


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