I don’t Google anymore I TikTok— LUKKZ 🇺🇬 (@ClaudeLukkz) June 8, 2022
Have you ever got videos as search results when Googling something? Probably yes!
When we think of social media or social platforms, we easily forget that they can be more than just that. YouTube is owned by Google, which is one of the reasons why we get video suggestions when we search specific things on Google.
So, it is no surprise that YouTube ranked as the second most used platform for searching for content and answers. Every thinkable topic has its own experts sharing knowledge there.
From “How to unclog my sink?” to “How to do heatless curls?”, everything is searchable on YouTube and more than likely, you will find the right response. Brands have already discovered how useful a YouTube channel is for promoting their products online. On top of that, they also know how to successfully work with influencers and product placements in videos.
Speaking of videos, another platform that is becoming a threat to Google is TikTok. The preferred social platform of generation Z, TikTok, has such a strong search engine, that younger media users prefer to use the app before they even think about opening Google.
But why is that?
TikTok gives answers by real people filming their clips in their private spaces like talking to a friend. The effect is simple, authentic, and raw. As a plus, this authentic experience is paired with the app's great SEO algorithm. The answers are delivered easily and, most of all, quickly. Another reason for Gen Z skipping Google and searching on TikTok are the ad-free results on the video app, since clips are not interrupted by ads on screen. What you see is an emerging experience of a full screen video on your phone.
TikTok has already realised the power it has as a search engine and is developing it further within the comment section. When comments mention names, products or certain keywords, these immediately become clickable and users can find more content on that specific topic, much like how hashtags work. It’s pretty sure they won’t stop there and become the number one app for information searching.
What is Google’s response?
As quoted in TechCrunch, Google is working on integrating TikTok and Instagram content as top search results when looking up keywords. As Prabhakar Raghavan, Senior Vice President at Google, admits: "40% of young people (…) don’t go on Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
He continues, “The [search] journey begins in different forms than before. In visualised forms.” Rather than being stuck with this analysis, they will try to integrate these results and changes into their products, to make Google more attractive for younger people.
What does that mean for Marketers?
Since Google does not deny these study results, but rather is adding them to their products and learn from them, social media has become more important than ever. From now on, a strong social media presence is the way to go to succeed in search results.