Understanding TikTok’s Algorithm

The app has avoided content homogeneity by showing users content they don’t typically engage with. As part of this process, random hashtags, videos, sounds, and topics surfaced. To keep things fresh, the app avoids repetition, so you’re unlikely to see two videos by the same creator or use the same sound twice. Are you looking for a better understanding of TikTok’s algorithm? Continue reading to uncover the answers to these questions.

Video Engagement

Likes, comments, watch time, and profile visits are all factors that contribute to TikTok’s ranking. People interact with and engage with TikTok videos when there is a high level of engagement. In addition, replays, follows, bookmarks, and videos being tagged “not interested” (which negatively impacts your video) are included. In addition to helping content rank higher on TikTok’s algorithm, engagement shows TikTok that the content should be shared more widely. 

Not all forms of engagement are equal. Comments and shares are better indicators of engagement than likes. There is evidence of this in TikTok’s documentation and many other social media platforms. The documentation provided by TikTok indicates that video engagement rather than account engagement is measured. Users’ interests are also determined by the profiles they follow on TikTok. Following gardening accounts, you can further indicate to the algorithm that you are interested in gardening videos. 

A video’s ranking is not affected by the number of followers or the account’s performance. It is possible to benefit indirectly from having a high follower count since it will expose your videos to a broader audience through your followers. Your followers’ engagement can help you reach a larger audience if they engage with your content. Compared to classic forms of social media marketing, where posts on a profile’s previous performance are thought to influence the reach of future posts, this is a significant change.

Engagement on the “Discover” Tab

By analyzing users’ interactions with TikTok content beyond just videos, TikTok can determine a user’s potential interest in a video. Users’ For You feed will include video recommendations based on their searches, clicks on hashtags, explorations of trending topics, and views of videos from a specific sound.

The Content Itself

From an SEO perspective, on-page SEO is similar to TikTok ranking factors within video content. The platform needs to understand the topic of each video to recommend them to you. An app can determine the topic and emotional tone of each video based on several elements within the uploaded videos. Let’s take a look at what those elements are:


  • Their privacy policy states that TikTok “detects and collects characteristics and features about video and audio recordings” by identifying objects, scenery, and body parts. This data powers content moderation and recommendations.


  • The platform can better understand what they’re about by processing the “text of words spoken” within your videos.

Text Overlay

  • This understanding can also be achieved by overlaying text over the video. Adding text natively within the platform may provide a more robust signal based on how other content ranking algorithms work. 

Hashtags & Title

  • In terms of public discussion, this is the original TikTok signal. As well as identifying what the video is about, the title and hashtags used can indirectly affect rankings by affecting engagement and discovery.

TikTok “Sounds”

  • As the platform understands the content of a video through its sound, it is a ranking factor in and of itself. The most intense way that the sounds can affect your content’s performance is by following a trend linked to that audio. 

Contact Boston Web Marketing for More Insight

If you’re curious about TikTok’s algorithm or other social media platforms and their algorithms, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Boston Web Marketing. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have or guide you through optimizing your social media. To get started, please give us a call at (857) 526-0096 or email sales@getfoundquick.com today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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