Google is working on indexing Instagram and TikTok videos



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

The Information contains the first details of Google’s discussions with Facebook and ByteDance – the parent companies of Instagram and TikTok respectively.

“Three people who have been made aware of the discussions” told The Information that agreements are underway to get Google the data it needs to index and rank the videos.

The deal would be similar to the one 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 didn’t index and rank individual tweets in search results like it does today.

Now, it’s so common to come across Twitter content in Google’s SERPs that it’s hard to remember a time when tweets weren’t detectable with a simple search.

If the reported negotiations between Google, Instagram and TikTok were to be successful, shorthand video content could end up being as common as tweets in search results.

In reference to any discussion of a search deal, a Google spokesperson provided The Information with the following quote, which neither confirms nor 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 if their content appears in search.”

For the spokesperson, appearing in Google search is a choice for content publishers.

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

When it comes to Instagram and TikTok, there are reasons they wouldn’t want to pass Google the data it needs to index videos.

Google owns YouTube, which competes for the same audience of short 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, requires the search company to pay an annual license fee. In return, Google has the ability to index tweets as soon as they are posted to the platform.

It’s likely that Instagram and TikTok will receive similar compensation. In addition, they will also enjoy the benefits of discovering their content in Google.

Currently, it is not possible to search Google for Instagram or TikTok videos. This deal would allow that to happen, which could bring a whole new audience of viewers to these platforms.

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


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

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

It looks like a win-win situation for all parties involved if the three internet giants come to an agreement.

The potential terms of the deals Google is negotiating with Facebook and ByteDance are not available at this time.

Source: Information

Featured Image: Camilo Concha / Shutterstock


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