TikTok explores partnership with Google to drive search traffic

TikTok and Google are currently exploring a new partnership to integrate Google search prompts, and potentially even results, into TikTok’s own search stream.

This custom integration made for Google aims to provide more context and facilitate more discovery via the TikTok app. 

For example, app researcher Radu Oncescu posted, some TikTok users are now seeing a new prompt appear within their search results in the app, which includes a CTA to expand their search on Google.

According to Business Insider, “A TikTok spokesperson has confirmed that the company is experimenting with third-party integrations within the TikTok app, including a test with Google. 

“The feature, which is being trialed globally across several different markets, is not an ad unit, the spokesperson said. A Google spokesperson said the company had nothing further to share and declined to comment on whether there was a financial agreement between the two companies as part of the partnership.”

Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan said that Google does indeed see TikTok’s emergence as a discovery tool as a potential business risk. “In our studies, something like almost 40 per cent of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

For Google to integrate its tools into TikTok’s discovery surface will help keep Google in mind as an expansion offering, and maintain relevance with this audience.

On the other hand for TikTok, it provides more direct connection to broader discovery options, while there could be additional benefits in terms of data sharing between the two companies that can help to improve their discovery tools.