TikTok vs. Google: What is the Future of Search?

As times change, as well as the expansion of digital marketing platforms and technology, we have seen a dramatic shift in the way young people retrieve their information.

According to TechCrunch, approximately 40% of Gen Z users prefer using social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram when searching for information over Google.

With that being said, are we in the process of witnessing the downfall of Google itself to opposing social media platforms in terms of search? The answer might surprise you.

How TikTok’s Content Discovery Feature Leads to Active Search

photo of the viral "corn kid" with white text that says "everything changed!"

Unlike Google, TikTok thrives on grabbing the attention of users through aimless scrolling. With the endless scroll feature and an individualistic algorithm, users are able to see content that is curated to their interests, whether that be recipes, financial advice, words of affirmation, cute animals, or just funny videos that provide pure entertainment. According to Moz, this digital marketing term can also be referred to as content discovery.

From the content discovery feature that TikTok provides with their feed, consumers can then take to the active search platform TikTok provides to further look into various trends, memes, and more that they receive, which can range from “cacio e pepe” to “corn kid”, respectfully.

Is Tiktok a Future Threat to Google Search?

The short answer is no. Though Tiktok is a content discovery platform that has since entranced a younger generation to use its accompanying search engine, nothing is Google. Given both platforms cater to two different search intents, these platforms can be considered mutually exclusive, as we continue to treat them as such.

What Brands Should Be Doing to Accommodate TikTok and Google

Due to the shift in search engines to now include TikTok as a key search platform for particularly younger generations, here are some things to keep in mind as a brand using TikTok to increase your social media and digital marketing presence:

  1. Since reach is more important than relevance on this consumer-centric platform, brands are challenged to humanize their digital marketing strategy in order to relate to their AI-generated audience.
  1. Stay up to date with your keyword usage. Though a specific keyword may be considered initially relevant, TikTok holds the power to change the narrative of its keywords, which is something that Google has a harder time keeping up with itself.
  1. Respond to things in a swift and timely manner. You may only have a certain amount of time to incorporate trends into social media strategy in order to capture consumer behavior on the platform, but it will be well worth it when you do.

So, for companies looking to boost their search engine optimization on either Tiktok or Google, we wish you the best of luck, because that change is here to stay, and all we can do is further adapt to it.

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