SEO is Dead. Long Live TEO.

As Google battles AI spam in a fight for its relevancy, will TikTok’s pushes in Search topple the King?

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SEO is Dead. Long Live TEO.

As Google battles AI spam in a fight for its relevancy, will TikTok’s pushes in Search topple the King?

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Today's News:

SEO • Welcome to “Tiktok Engine Optimization”

TikTok continues to try to capture some of Google’s glory, positioning itself as a place to search for content. And if you’re willing to do a little research with its new tool, your brand could get a little extra money for the effort.

Creators making money on the platform will now be paid based in part on how well their content meets what other users are searching for.

TikTok calls this metric “search value,” and it’s one of four core elements in determining creator payouts.

This metric is the TikTok version of search engine optimization (SEO). One tactic in SEO is keyword research, where publishers make content that aligns with what searchers (the vast majority of whom are using Google) are looking up.

On TikTok, search value is whether a creator is posting content that is about topics users are searching for in the app.

To this end, TikTok has added a new Search Insights tool to let brands and creators track down what people are searching for.

This past January, Adobe published a study that found 40% of Americans use TikTok for search, and 10% of Gen-Z users were more likely to use TikTok than Google. Even Google executives, themselves, have said they’re worried about losing ground to TikTok.

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As of 2023, which metric is considered a key ranking signal by the TikTok algorithm?

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ADS • TikTok Video Shopping Ads

TikTok has made some changes to its video shopping ads.

First, they say they’ve made creating a campaign with Shopify data has been made a little easier, and you can launch your first Video Shopping Ad campaign using pre-populated campaign settings directly within Shopify.

They’ve also made those ads discoverable from the search tab, rather than hoping people come across them from their For You feed.

And you can now run your Shop Ads product cards in the newly launched Shop tab — this had been in the past only available on the For You Page.

SEARCH • Google Showing Fewer Sitelinks

If SEO tools like Semrush and SimilarWeb can be believed, Google is showing fewer sitelinks within the search results page — perhaps by as much as 20% fewer.

Sitelinks are those sub-pages that Google shows under a main listing. If people search for your store, it would show your store, but also links on your site it thinks are relevant — like Return Policies and Best Sellers and Contact Us.

An example of sitelinks

SimilarWeb shows that those sitelinks went from appearing about 63% of the time to about 41%:

Semrush said its tool saw a drop from 68% to about 58%:

This is not a huge deal, to be honest — these sitelinks were automatically placed there by Google, so we didn’t really have a tonne of control over them anyway.

But given that it might not be showing as many, you might see a drop in organic traffic.

Have you noticed a drop in organic traffic from Google in the last month?

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SOCIAL APPS • BeReal in Danger of Closing?

BeReal — the once-popular Instagram clone that promised a more authentic experience — might soon be on its last legs.

Business Insider is reporting that the company is running out of funds and investor interest.

The app is said to have about 25 million daily active users.

While those numbers show some growth since 2022, when the app said it had 20 million DAUs, it is the same size user base BeReal said it had last year.

In addition to the app's core features, the company has added new features in a bid to increase user numbers in recent months, like official accounts, groups, messaging, and the ability to add video, which has driven up some usage rates.

Such features have yet to meaningfully move the growth needle.

BeReal has struggled to attract investor interest for a Series C, two sources familiar with the company said. They cited the stagnant user numbers and a wider slowdown in the European growth funding market.

Although BeReal has kept its head count at 60 employees, its burn rate, or the speed at which it spends money, is seen by potential investors as high, namely because of its server costs…

Business Insider

AI • YouTube Requiring More AI Disclosure

More disclosure requirements coming for those who use AI in their content.

YouTube today said you will have to disclose when your videos use AI to make realistic-looking content. They’ll be updating their Creator Studio shortly to make that a little easier to do.

YouTube says the new policy doesn’t require creators to disclose content that is clearly unrealistic or animated, such as someone riding a unicorn through a fantastical world.

It also isn’t requiring creators to disclose content that used generative AI for production assistance, like generating scripts or automatic captions.

Instead, YouTube is targeting videos that use the likeness of a realistic person. For instance, creators will have to disclose when they have digitally altered content to “replace the face of one individual with another’s or synthetically generating a person’s voice to narrate a video,” YouTube says.

They will also have to disclose content that alters the footage of real events or places, such as making it seem as though a real building caught on fire. 

Creators will also have to disclose when they have generated realistic scenes of fictional major events, like a tornado moving toward a real town.

WTF • LinkedIn Wants to Be… a Gaming Platform?!

One of my frustrations with technology as a whole is that sites and apps and platforms aren’t happy enough to just let good things be good. They’re always adding features nobody asked for — which, to me, seemed more like an exercise in keeping top software engineers on the team than giving users what they’ve asked for.

Last week, LinkedIn too fell into this trap by confirming it now wants to be a gaming platform and that it’s working on a handful of dumb little games.

Leaked screenshots shows four games in testing — one of which looks sort of like Minesweeper; another seems to be a trivia game.

A LinkedIn p.r. person said they believe the games will “unlock a bit of fun, deepen relationships, and hopefully spark the opportunity for conversations.”

Please. Stop.

As one social media commenter said:

It does seem a bit out of place, a bit random, and really, a fairly blatant effort to boost time spent in the app.

But also, it will probably work.

Social Media Today

LinkedIn does have some solid backbench talent to draw on — it’s owned by Microsoft, which also runs one of the biggest gaming businesses.

But does it align with the platform’s broader mission to “connect the world’s professionals to economic opportunity”?

I mean, probably not, but so long as those engagement numbers go up, it’s all good. Right?

Social Media Today

GBPs • You Can Now Request A Secondary Appeal

Google says if you’re denied by the Google Business Profiles appeals tool, you can now "request an additional review to a denied request.

This came not in the form of an announcement, per se, but rather as an update to a help document, so it’s not clear if this is a new thing or if they’re just catching up on documentation — but I’m pretty sure this is indeed new.

Only if your reinstatement request is denied, we may be able to do an additional review to prove your eligibility. You can submit an additional review to a denied request. You can provide additional evidence that wasn’t added with your original appeal.


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