Google Said To Be Seeking Search Deals With TikTok, Instagram

Google executives are quietly negotiating with their counterparts at ByteDance and Facebook to get the data it needs to index and rank videos on TikTok and Instagram, respectively, in search results, according to three people briefed about the discussions.

It’s become a question of whether or not the companies will share the data required to rank and display the videos, according to the report by The Information.

Google said these are "standard discussions," and that it is always looking for new ways to organize information.

"We engage regularly with members of the ecosystem to help them understand and adopt video SEO best practices," a Google spokesperson wrote in an email to Search & Performance Marketing Daily. "It's an exaggeration to say that 'executives are negotiating.' Our partnerships teams are having standard discussions."

The Information first reported the talks.

The news is reminiscent of a deal between Google and Twitter that dates back to 2009, when the companies struck a partnership that would display real-time Twitter results in Google searches.

On October 21, 2009, Marissa Mayer, then vice president of Search Products and User Experience at Google, wrote: “We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months.”

The negotiations could be continued efforts from a test that began in December 2020, where Google served Instagram and TikTok videos in their own dedicated carousel in the Google search app for mobile devices. It aggregated short-form videos from TikTok and Instagram.

But even that test expanded on another pilot launched earlier that year where Google had first introduced a carousel of “Short Videos” within Google Discover, the personalized feed found in the Google mobile app.

The short videos are being tested with more than a dozen content platforms worldwide, according to a Google spokespearson. It is a standard approach before introducing a new format. The goal is to help content providers understand the new feature, how it benefits users, and how they can benefit. They give feedback to Google through each test and iteration.

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