Search Ads on TikTok are coming and causing Google to tremble

TikTok has understood the power of its social network and wants to continue developing their application. So, to attract as many brands as possible, the Chinese giant has decided to launch "search ads".

Search ads Definition and explanation

The search ads have the same functionality as the Google search engine ads that you can see in the SERP. Businesses will be able to bid on keywords specific to their business and will be able to appear in the top search results on TikTok.

Indeed, although the application is a social network offering video content, many of its users use the search bar to find specific content. So, instead of displaying web links like Google, TikTok will highlight content from companies that have invested in search ads on the keyword in question. The word "Sponsored" will also be added to the video thumbnail to differentiate advertising content from other content.

For the time being, the Search Ads offer on TikTok is not yet available but a test version has already been launched since last year. It will surely arrive during the year 2023.


A powerful advantage for brands

SEO on TikTok had already started and many brands are optimising the keywords used to appear in the search results organically. Thus, search ads on TikTok will become a very powerful lever for brands that want to reach young targets. Indeed, TikTok's audience is young and is often inaccessible on other channels.

Google had released a study in which it explained that 40% of young people use TikTok and Instagram to find information. This can be just an informational search or to buy products and find a restaurant for the evening.

In this way, brands will be able to integrate themselves more easily into the user experience of young targets. There are already ads on TikTok but they interrupt the user's scrolling session and can become very intrusive for them. With TikTok's search ads, brands will be able to appear at the right time, i.e. when users are looking to find them.

A strong competitor for Google

Google has long dominated the search advertising market. Indeed, it is the search engine with the most users in the world and with an effective advertising offer. 

However, the arrival of TikTok in this market could be a total game changer. TikTok now has a huge database of users that is even more accurate and complete, which will allow brands to effectively target the audience and therefore have powerful results. Moreover, as explained above, TikTok users are almost inaccessible on other channels including Google.

Brands will then invest heavily in search ads on TikTok and perhaps lower the budget on Google. This will allow them to reach younger people.