Google is now showing TikToks, Facebook and Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts on the search results page now that the May Core Update has officially rolled out. Although this update isn’t complete yet, we’ve analyzed the initial results so you can start planning your content, social media, and SEO strategy now!
Google announced its latest Core Update on May 25, and by the time this blog post is live, it should be almost totally rolled out and ready for you to utilize. With this new Core Update, we’re expecting a number of new features and changes to show up, but one we’ve noticed right off the bat is the addition of “short video” pieces to Google’s results.
TikTok is a short-video-sharing app that’s quickly become the most popular website on the Internet—surpassing even Google itself. Its platform has proven to generate so much user interaction that other social media giants have followed suit. TikToks, Facebook and Instagram Reels, as well as YouTube Shorts, are all recognizable by their tall format, easy-to-navigate interfaces, and extreme viral capacity.
Basically, yes! That's what a LOT of users, especially Gen Z users, are using TikTok for, other than for entertainment of couse. Well, Google’s Search Team has noticed all the search traffic to this type of video content, and has begun serving up this content, which it calls, predictably, “Short Videos,” on its search results pages in the mobile interface. These videos are showing on Google’s mobile results in two main locations:
In addition, Google understands the search intent behind a query to populate the correct TikTok videos and profiles with each search, meaning it not only shows “profiles” related to the query, but it can also show a carousel of videos from TikTok’s “Discover” page that are related to the query.
TikTok Disover Page:
While this seems like an interesting new feature of Google Search all by itself, as a large or small business owner, you’re probably thinking ‘How can I utilize TikTok to drive my business?’ Since this concept is so new for Google, they might do some more tweaking to the algorithm. However, the experts at Click Here Digital have been able to glean some insight from our research.
Our case study involved popular Y.A. novelist Sarah J. Maas as we took a deep dive into her Knowledge Panel’s videos. All of the Short Videos that populated under her GKP were popular (at least 30K likes on average) and featured her full name (and sometimes initials) in the video’s description, hashtags, and even in "on-screen text" if they had it.
"Short Videos" in "Sarah J. Maas" GKP
It’s also important to note that great importance is put on the video’s entity relation, or how closely it matches Google’s internal “idea” of the thing users are searching. One video we saw had only 6K likes, but spelled her name in its description as “Sarah J. Maas” - and the period after her middle initial was enough for Google to pull the video into Sarah's Knowledge Panel, since it's an exact match.
As for organic results on Google, since the feature is still in beta, there isn’t a definitive trend or formula YET. But have no fear, the “Google Gurus” at Click Here Digital are staying hot on the case to give you the info your business needs to succeed! Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting new feature!
Another huge part of the May Core Update is the new Visual Stories feature on Google mobile search. Visual Stories show on the search results page in the GKP, not just for specific or high-intent searches, but for general searches and entities such as “classic cars.”
Visual stories are a seamless and dynamic on-ramp for users to move from the results page to a landing page via an interstitial, mobile-first design. For example, check out this Visual Story for “Classic Cars” from USA Today that populates in the GKP for “classic cars” (it will look far more natural on mobile devices).
Note that it doesn’t lead to an app or a pop up—if a user clicks on a Visual Story, they’re taken to the landing page for that result. These Stories are designed like Instagram Stories, specifically for mobile devices and user engagement, and though it “feels” like you don’t leave Google, these “stories” do take you to an actual website.
The “killer app,” however, is that companies can add CTAs linking to other pages on their sites that are related to each slide within the Visual Story—leading to even more engagement on their sites, and presumably more leads, interaction, online visibility, and finally, more sales!
This Google Core Update has already proven to continue prioritizing mobile search results over desktop—mobile is simply where the most users are searching, day-over-day. Even though it’s still early days for this Update, we’re already seeing strong results, which means this could be a game changer for brands and businesses.
What does this mean for your e-commerce or enterprise brand? If you don’t have a social media presence, this update means it’s time to get one! Google has not only prioritized video content, but purchased the access and API for these videos from TikTok, Meta, and more - so they think this is an area of massive growth in the coming years, and we do as well!
Even if you’re not the strongest in video right now (though you should make and release video as part of your marketing mix), this update isn’t leaving you out. Marketers taking advantage of Visual Stories should see a sizable bump in their traffic as well.
Finally, like every other core update, because Google is updating the basic way in which they rank sites in their search results, you might see your or your clients’ sites shift around in rankings. Remember, this is normal, and doesn’t mean anything is wrong. After everything settles, your SEO agency should be able to fix any lingering issues.
As a digital marketing agency with nearly three decades of experience online, we’ve seen all the trends and know what works and what doesn’t. Video is quickly becoming the dominant format online, so you need to make sure your brand takes advantage of the new features from Google and other search engines that leverage video for paid ads and organically!
At Click Here Digital, we’ve massively invested in our video marketing technology to get ahead of this curve, so you can trust that we can deliver the ROI you expect. We’re Google Premier Partners and Meta Business Partners, so we’re at the vanguard of both social media and search trends. Schedule a demo with us today to find out more about our services and how we can help you crush your marketing goals and the competition!