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Everyone Wants to be TikTok, Even Google | Vol 108

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Welcome to Volume 108

Here’s what’s to come: 

  • Everyone wants to be TikTok, even Google
  • How SaaS companies can win with zero-click search
  • And more…

Let’s jump right in.

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Everyone Wants to be TikTok; even Google 

TikTok seems to be everyone’s role model and kryptonite. 

(Awkward combo, I know, right!)

For example, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram are trying hard to mimic TikTok’s vertical feed format and invest more in short videos. Instagram users even called out the team for moving away from its original value proposition to become TikTok.

 Then there’s Google making another attempt with its Alter acquisition.

Before diving into the acquisition details, let’s see why many social platforms try to be and compete with TikTok. 

First is TikTok’s impressive algorithm that keeps existing users engaged daily and generates more new users. 

As of this writing, TikTok has recorded three billion downloads since 2016. This is way more than Instagram, which has recorded almost four billion downloads since 2010! What Instagram achieved in twelve years, TikTok did in half the time. It’s no wonder the short-form video-sharing app is the fifth most popular social media platform, with a $50 billion valuation and 1 billion global users. 

Of course, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Whatsapp are still considered more successful in terms of user growth. However, TikTok’s algorithm still threatens these brands’ market dominance. 

If TikTok keeps growing at this rate, we’ll see the app surpass some of its competitors and make its way to the top. That explains why these brands are actively looking for ways to maintain their position as leaders. 

Google’s Alter acquisition is yet another move to make its content more relevant for its users.  Alter is an AI avatar startup that will allow social media users and brands to express their virtual identities.

Tech Crunch says this is an attempt to compete with TikTok. We can see how this might be the case as Google recently rolled out a bunch of new features to win Gen Z over and regain its dominance as the uncontested king of search. These updates came just after the report that revealed 40% of Gen Z chose TikTok over Google for search.

While we are big believers in Google, TikTok’s rise to prominence has been quite inspiring and intimidating, especially with its algorithm making almost accurate recommendations and its investment in virtual shopping. If TikTok keeps fueling its engine, there’s no telling how successful it will be in a couple of years.

CTA: See why TikTok has become the marketer’s dream platform 


How SaaS Companies Can Win With Zero Click Search

Zero-click is becoming a thing in the content marketing industry. 

More platforms reward content that directly answers a reader’s question without any clicks to read more. Amanda Natividad, VP of Marketing at Sparktoro, calls this the zero-click behavior.

Semrush recently conducted its own Zero Click Study. The team analyzed over 600,000 search actions from 20,000 mobile and unique desktop users to understand their search behavior and the best way to capture their attention.

The team found that 25.6% of desktop and 17.3% of mobile searches are zero-click searches. So what exactly does this mean for B2B SaaS marketers? 

If you haven’t read the report yet, here’s a key takeaway to keep in mind:

Organic clicks are still valid.

That means users will still click on your website if it appears on the results, preferably on page 1. But it also means there’s a huge opportunity to add keyword variations to your content brief while researching. 

Adding related search phrases to your SEO strategy improves your chances of getting found when a user refines their query or reads your answer on the featured snippet or People Also Ask section without having to click to read more. It’s best practice to proactively include refined queries in your SEO strategy to ensure you show up whenever searchers come looking for answers.

Bottom line?

Optimize your content for the original queries with a decent search volume, but also prioritize those longer queries that may or may not have a search volume. Instead of fighting to dominate the SERPs, focus on the users and how they search. 

For example, the report revealed that users go to image search after not getting satisfactory results from the SERPs. You can find images ranking for niche queries and identify the keywords they rank for. Then use the data to create a better alternative and try ranking for the keyword and other refined variations. 

Remember, Google is looking out for its users, and so should you.

Searchers want one thing: fast time to value. 

Users want the answer to a query as quickly as possible. That means not having to go through too many links before getting value. Hence Google’s helpful update and other useful SERP features. 

Notice how these updates reward content that satisfies the searcher’s intent the fastest. If users can get the answers they need without clicking on anything, why not reward content that fits this criterion? Put user satisfaction at the center of your SEO efforts, and you’ll be in a good place with fewer vanity metrics and more satisfied readers looking to do business with you. 

You can read the full report here


🏆Shopify acquires Remix, an open-source web framework, for an undisclosed amount. The goal is to improve Shopify’s developer platform. 

🟥Meta’s share price hits an all-time low since 2016. Perhaps, its investment in the metaverse has a lot to do with the fall, as its reality labs unit has lost $9.4 billion this year alone. The fall might result in increased pressure to drive revenue, which might mean relying on ads on its social platforms to increase the numbers.

🟢Amid the economic downturn, AI content platform Jasper recently raised $125M at a $1.5 billion valuation.


Do you ever look back at a content piece you published several years ago and squirm?

I know I have. It’s amazing how much growth we can see when we stay consistent, doing one thing repeatedly. Only each time we learn from our mistakes and create something better than the last. 

Those little steps eventually compound into something big and inspiring, positioning you as an expert and leader in your industry. The power of compound interest. 

Whether you’re starting in marketing or you’ve been on the scene for a long time, there’s no end to learning. Ten years from now, you’ll look at something you wrote today and laugh hard. That’s the amazing power of growth.


9 hiring lessons I learned building a $100,000,000 company by Alex Lieberman



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