How TikTok’s SEO exploded after the 2022 Core Search Update

Organic Search

The social media landscape is constantly changing and this is reflected in what we search for and how we arrive to popular content. Between May 25th 2022 (Happy Core Search Update day to all SEOs) and early June 2022, TikTok has seen massive Google organic search growth. This shift in rankings for the social media giant recently caught my eye when highlighted on Twitter by Glenn Gabe:


Glenn has observed a SERP test where Google is displaying ‘Short Videos’ – a sign that Google has plans for managing Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and TikTok (short form) video content in new ways in the future:


TikTok’s Google US non-brand #1 rankings increased by 45-50% since May 25th 2022 in desktop and mobile views.

Desktop organic search rankings for (US) non-brand rankings - position #1 Desktop (US) non-brand rankings – position #1 Desktop (source: Semrush)


Mobile organic search rankings for (US) non-brand rankings - position #1 Mobile (US) non-brand rankings – position #1 Mobile (source: Semrush)

TikTok organic search growth: user profile & video pages

One observation that I made was the growing amount of search behind social media influencer’s names/handles. The organic search growth for these were in line with the website as a whole i.e 50% uplift in non-brand rankings.

TikTok user profile page non-brand rankings (source: Semrush)
TikTok user profile page non-brand rankings (source: Semrush)

However notably, TikTok’s Google US non-brand #1 video page rankings have doubled since May 25th 2022:

TikTok organic search growth: what does this tell us?

  • TikTok’s video content is appearing more and more in the top positions in Google, with a doubling of #1 non-brand rankings for /video/ URLs since Google’s Core Search Update in May 2022 (source:Semrush). This is huge.
  • Google loving user generated content (UGC) isn’t new. However this data highlights the huge impact on search behaviour that TikTok is having. TikTok users are utilising Google as an auxiliary search function to find TikTok content that they’ve come across, heard of or watched before.
  • TikTok influencers are growing in popularity and that can be seen in the Google search query data via Semrush. Google is well positioned to ‘steal’ this traffic with YouTube Shorts, with adoption of their competing product looking promising, but in the early stages.