As a content creator, having your TikTok account and videos appear in search results is crucial for reaching new viewers and growing your following. However, sometimes TikTok accounts encounter issues that prevent them from showing up properly in searches.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the main reasons why your TikTok account may not be appearing in search and provide detailed troubleshooting steps to help fix this problem.
Why Your TikTok Account Isn’t Showing Up in Search
There are several potential causes for a TikTok account not appearing in search results:
A shadowban is when TikTok limits a user’s reach and discoverability due to violations of community guidelines. Your content and account may not show up in search results or hashtags when shadowbanned. Some reasons TikTok may shadowban an account include:
- Posting too much duplicate or repetitive content
- Using bots or third-party services to inflate views, likes, or followers
- Posting content that violates community guidelines, like nudity, hate speech, etc.
- Engaging heavily in follow/unfollow activity to inflate followers
- Having multiple accounts connected to the same device or IP address
A shadowban is usually temporary, lasting days or weeks until TikTok lifts the restrictions. But a permanent shadowban is possible if violations continue.
New Account Status
New TikTok accounts often don’t rank well in search immediately. TikTok wants to see legitimate engagement and content before surfacing your account widely. It can take a couple weeks of actively posting quality content before full search visibility.
Lack of Engagement
Accounts with low engagement in terms of views, likes, comments, and shares tend to rank lower in TikTok search. This signals the algorithm that your content hasn’t resonated widely with users yet. Focus on creating engaging content that gets people interested.
Weak Account Authority
TikTok determines authority and trust levels for accounts based on factors like age, followers, interactions, violations, etc. Newer accounts with few followers naturally have less authority. Building your account authority takes time through actively posting content, engaging with your niche, and growing your audience.
Irrelevant or Overused Keywords
Using keywords and hashtags unrelated to your content or that have extremely high search volume can prevent you from ranking well for them. Research and test which keywords accurately describe your niche and content.
Your TikTok account settings may be limiting your visibility to only people in certain countries or regions. Double check that your visibility is not restricted under profile settings.
Troubleshooting Steps to Fix TikTok Account Not Showing in Search
If your TikTok account is experiencing search discoverability issues, here are detailed troubleshooting steps to identify and address the potential causes:
Check Account Standing for Shadowban
First, check if your account may be shadowbanned by TikTok. Here’s how:
Log Out and Search Account/Username
- Fully log out of your TikTok account. This ensures search results are not biased based on your account history.
- Search for your exact TikTok username in the app search bar.
- Also search for some of your recent video titles.
If your account and recent videos do not show up within the top results, this indicates a possible shadowban.
- Search for 1-2 larger hashtags you recently used on posts, like #fyp or #viral.
- Filter the results to ‘Accounts’ instead of videos.
- Scroll through the accounts using the hashtag. If your account is not appearing, despite using those same hashtags, your reach is likely limited by TikTok.
Ask Friends to Search
Have a few friends search your exact username and recent video titles on TikTok. If they cannot find your account or content easily, this points to a shadowban.
If a shadowban seems likely, move on to the next steps for resolving it.
Fix Shadowban Status
If analysis confirms your account has been shadowbanned, you’ll need to address the potential reasons behind this status:
Delete Violating Content
- Review your account content and delete any videos that clearly violate TikTok guidelines, like nudity, illegal activities, etc. This helps show TikTok you have cleaned up prohibited content.
- Avoid reposting deleted videos that broke rules after the shadowban lifts, or it may be reinstated.
Stop Artificially Inflating Metrics
- Stop using any bots, services or tactics meant to artificially increase views, likes, follows, or comments. TikTok can detect and punish inauthentic activity.
- Focus efforts on creating engaging content and promoting your account organically to gain genuine followers.
Adhere Closely to Community Guidelines
- Review TikTok’s Community Guidelines fully to ensure your account and content aligns with all policies. Avoid any borderline content.
- Adding captions, tags, descriptions, etc. that clarify intent and context may help keep content from being misconstrued and flagged.
- Immediately delete any content that gets flagged by users and address what rules it violated.
- You can try appealing the shadowban directly if you believe it was unjustified.
- In the TikTok app, go to your profile, tap the 3 dots menu, select “Report a problem” and request a review of your account status.
- Provide details on when you first noticed limited visibility and reasons why you believe the shadowban was unwarranted.
It can take 1-2 weeks for TikTok to fully restore search visibility and recommendability after a shadowban. Patience and strictly following guidelines is key.
Improve Account Quality Signals
If you are a newer account or have not been actively engaging with your audience, focus on improving these signals to appear more authoritative and ranking higher in TikTok search:
Interact With Other Accounts
- Comment on and like content from other accounts in your niche to start connecting.
- Reply to any comments you receive to build engagement.
- Consider going live or doing collaborations to extend your reach.
Post More Consistently
- Aim to post at least 1 high-quality video per day to establish regular activity. Using trending audios and effects can also help increase discoverability.
- Try posting at different times of day to determine when your audience is most active and engaged.
Improve Video Quality
- Ensure your videos are well-lit, steady, in focus, and with clear audio. High production value attracts more views and likes.
- Use attractive thumbnails by adding text, emoji, or graphics that intrigue viewers to tap.
- Shoot and edit videos vertically in 9:16 aspect ratio to take advantage of the full screen.
Grow Your Following
- Leverage cross-promotion by linking your TikTok account to your other social media profiles and encourage followers on those platforms to check out your TikTok.
- Participate in follow-for-follow exchanges with complementary accounts in your niche to gradually build your audience.
- Ask current followers to like, share, and engage with your content to help increase visibility.
As you continue actively posting quality content and engaging with your target audience, your TikTok authority and search presence should improve over time.
Optimize Your Keywords and Hashtags
Carefully choose relevant keywords and hashtags to make your content more findable by your ideal viewers:
Research Your Niche Keywords
- Identify search terms and phrases commonly used by your target audience when looking for content related to your niche.
- Include a mix of both broad (high search volume) terms and long-tail, specific keywords.
- Try out keyword/hashtag variations to see which gain the most traction and engagement.
Use Relevant Hashtags
- Only use hashtags directly related to your content’s topic, location, or emotions evoked.
- Do not use more than 10 hashtags per video, as too many can seem spammy and lower engagement.
- Combine major hashtags like #fyp or #viral with niche-specific ones for greater visibility.
- Avoid extremely overloaded tags like #like. Create hashtags using your username or business name instead.
- Check which keywords and hashtags actually drive traffic and engagement to your posts using TikTok’s analytics under ‘Content’ in your account menu.
- Double down on tags performing well. Limit or avoid those showing little benefit.
Regularly optimizing your keyword and hashtag strategy will help maximize search visibility. Just ensure terms accurately relate to each specific video.
Check Location Settings
To be discoverable by the widest audience, check that your TikTok account does not limit visibility based on location or region.
- In your TikTok profile, tap the 3 dot menu button.
- Select ‘Settings and privacy’.
- Tap ‘Privacy and safety.’
- Under ‘Discoverability,’ check that ‘Location visibility’ does not have any countries or regions excluded.
- Also ensure ‘Suggest your account to others’ is enabled, so TikTok can recommend your account to potential new followers.
Removing any location filters allows anyone searching TikTok to find your account and content, which is usually ideal for reaching the broadest audience.
Finally, be patient and persistent. It takes time and consistent effort to build up an authoritative TikTok account that ranks highly in search results and recommendations.
Focus on steadily producing engaging content aligned with your niche and audience interests. Interact regularly with complementary accounts. And actively promote your TikTok across your other social profiles.
By diligently applying these troubleshooting tips, your TikTok account visibility and search discoverability will improve over the coming weeks.
Key Takeaways for Fixing TikTok Search Issues
To recap, here are the key actionable tips to troubleshoot and resolve a TikTok account not surfacing in search:
- Check for signs of possible shadowban limiting your visibility based on policy violations.
- Thoroughly clean up any violating content and adhere closely to community guidelines going forward.
- Improve authority signals by consistently posting quality content and building authentic engagement.
- Research and use relevant niche keywords and hashtags tailored to each specific video.
- Remove any location filters on your account restricting visibility.
- Have patience and persistently apply best practices, allowing time for your authority and rankings to improve.
By understanding the possible reasons your TikTok account may not be surfacing and taking proactive troubleshooting steps, you can regain proper visibility in TikTok search results. Follow these tips and keep optimizing as you continue growing your TikTok presence.