TikTok starts serving ads in its search results

TikTok is going to start serving ads in its search results.

Brands will be able to get their campaigns up and running using a new feature on the TikTok Ads Manager program called the Search Ads Toggle.

The tool leverages existing In-Feed Ad creatives to display adverts alongside organic search results from related user queries.

Why we care. Brands using the Search Ads Toggle will be able to expand the reach of their campaigns to high-intent users seeking information relevant to their business, driving incremental engagement and revenue potential.

What is the Search Ads Toggle? The Search Ads Toggle is a new tool that automatically creates ads using a brand’s existing ad content. It then serves the campaign in TikTok organic search results that meet relevant user queries.

How it works. The ads are clearly labeled “Sponsored” content and appear in different position on the results page depending on how well the ad is understood to serve the user intent. When a user clicks on a search ad, the ad mirrors the in-feed TikTok experience, with users able to continue scrolling through the search results in the order they appear on the page.

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What has TikTok said? A spokesperson from TikTok explained:

  • “The Search Ads Toggle provides a unique opportunity to offer rich, relevant information and experiences to our users. Users may search on TikTok to find new content, resurface older content, or look for the latest hot trending items or ideas. The Search Ads Toggle provides advertisers a new way to assist and enhance this user journey.”
  • “It also drives results. TikTok internal research shows that 70% of ad groups with the Search Ads Toggle ‘on’ see more efficient performance when compared to not, as a result of more efficient conversions coming from search ads.”

Deep dive. Read TikTok’s Search Ads Toggle announcement in full for more information.

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About the author

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book ‘Mastering In-House SEO’.

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