How did TikTok overtake Google as the new search engine?

Google dominates the search engine business, processing an astounding two trillion searches yearly. So it’s no wonder it’s been the most visited website on the earth for most of the last 15 years.

But here’s something you might be surprised to learn: TikTok has recently surpassed Google as the most popular website on the planet.

According to a survey, the famous short video-sharing app TikTok has eclipsed IT behemoth Google as the most popular website of the year. In addition to being named the most popular domain by Cloudflare, TikTok has also surpassed Facebook as the most popular social media website. 

The social network, owned by China-based Bytedance, already has over one billion active users worldwide, and that number is growing.

Gone are the days when Google was the go-to source for finding information. Instead, Google has been the industry standard for many years, and for a good reason. The industry-leading search engine has radically revolutionized the way we search for information, and millions of people use its tools and services regularly. Furthermore, they are well-known for having a user-friendly interface that lets you quickly find what you’re looking for. However, the tide began to turn when TikTok entered the market. 

This should be no surprise, given that TikTok is the fastest-growing social media network with the most global downloads and has garnered one billion active users in only 4.9 years. In comparison, Facebook, often regarded as the king of social media, took 8.7 years to reach one billion users. Only Facebook Messenger, and even then only narrowly, gained one billion users in 4.9 years.

Despite privacy concerns, which have been and continue to be addressed, TikTok’s success highlights how technology is growing, but more importantly, how habits of acquiring and consuming information about the world have changed.

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Teenagers choose TikTok over Instagram or Snapchat. Despite this, TikTok isn’t merely videos of memes or young people dancing, as many assumed. Instead, how-to videos, recipes, and beauty advice are among the most popular types of content, mirroring what Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram offer.

Furthermore, it implies that TikTok is used for learning rather than enjoyment. On the contrary, TikTok can be used for educational purposes. Many teachers have begun to use TikTok to simplify their school courses. This allows students to study subjects they may have missed in class or if they need a refresher in science, English, arithmetic, or even physical education.

Teachers were forced to focus on presenting their key points in the past because the site initially only permitted up to 60 seconds for each video. However, TikTok has now launched a 3-minute video capability for creators. As a result, teachers can add even more content to their digital microlessons.

Some firms have begun to use the app for onboarding services or even when making key company announcements. TikTok for Business is also becoming more popular as more organizations recognize the value that can be offered through the app.

Although the information given on TikTok isn’t necessarily reliable, it has been reported that the network has enabled users to search for things like restaurant recommendations, vacation places, and packing instructions before a flight.

TikTok, like YouTube, has provided a platform for specialists in various professions to impart knowledge that was previously restricted or challenging to access. Academics, healthcare workers, lawyers, contractors, and others are among these professionals.

Changes in user behavior and search capability among others

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Older age groups, too, prefer to learn something new through an audio-visual medium rather than reading an article or a book. Furthermore, viewers increasingly have shorter attention spans and expect concise, informative material. For example, if a user is seeking for a video on how to change a car tyre, it is reasonable to expect that they would prefer a 1-minute clip outlining the basics over a more detailed explainer on YouTube.

TikTok’s search features have likewise evolved over time. Predictive text, for example, which proposes popular searches, has reduced the need for users to venture off-platform. A simple search for a neighboring restaurant could present them with clips for ten additional restaurants in the same area.

So, should you create a TikTok SEO strategy? It may appear weird, but statistics don’t lie, and the findings here indicate that product discovery is increasing in the app, which is currently the world’s fastest-growing social platform. That might open up huge prospects – and perhaps now is the moment to jump in and build a presence before everyone else tries to optimize for TikTok search.

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Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen
America | Simon Cohen is native New Yorker and a fan of all things tech. Apart from writing about tech, Simon spends his time in the music studio as a producer.

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