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Google Working on Indexing Instagram & TikTok Videos

Google is reportedly working on deals with Instagram and TikTok to index their video content in search results.

Google Working on Indexing Instagram & TikTok Videos

Google is negotiating deals with Instagram and TikTok to index their content in search results, according to a new report.

The Information has the early details of Google’s talks with Facebook and ByteDance — parent companies of Instagram and TikTok respectively.

“Three people who were briefed about the discussions” tell The Information that deals are being worked on to get Google the data it needs to index and rank videos.

The deal is said to be similar to the one formed between Google and Twitter in 2015, in which Google was granted access to a “firehose” of tweet data for immediate indexing.

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Prior to forming a partnership with Twitter, Google did not index and rank individual tweets in search results the way it does today.

Now it’s so common to run into Twitter content in Google’s SERPs it’s difficult to remember a time when tweets weren’t discoverable with a simple search.

Should the reported negotiations between Google, Instagram, and TikTok pan out, then short-form video content could end up being as common as tweets in search results.

In reference to any search deal talks, a Google spokesperson provided the following quote to The Information which neither confirms or denies anything:

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“We help sites make their content discoverable and benefit from being found on Google, and they can choose how or whether their content appears in Search.”

To the spokesperson’s point, appearing in Google Search is a choice for content publishers.

In most cases that choice is a no-brainer, because why wouldn’t a website want to get its content found in Google?

With regard to Instagram and TikTok, there’s reasons why they wouldn’t want to hand over to Google the data it needs to index videos.

Google owns YouTube, which competes for the same audience of short-form video viewers. It’s understandable that Instagram and TikTok are reluctant to share too much information without receiving something of value in return.

Google’s deal with Twitter, for example, has the search company paying an annual licensing fee. In return Google is given the ability to index tweets as soon as they’re published to the platform.

It’s likely Instagram and TikTok will receive similar compensation. In addition, they’ll also receive the benefits that come with having their content discoverable in Google.

Currently, it’s not possible to search in Google to find either Instagram or TikTok videos. This deal would allow that to happen, which could bring a whole new audience of viewers to those platforms.

In return, Google will have billions of new videos to index in search results. That’s a positive thing for the longevity of the world’s top search engine.

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Over the long term, expanding Google’s index with Instagram and TikTok content will turn the search engine into a destination for both articles and videos.

That could lead to an increase in overall search volume, and more searches on Google means more opportunities for all publishers to get found.

It sounds like a win-win-win for all involved if the three internet giants can come to an agreement.

The potential terms of the agreements Google is negotiating with Facebook and ByteDance aren’t available at this time.

Source: The Information


Featured Image: Camilo Concha / Shutterstock

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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