Why TikTok is STEALING traffic from Google.
IS GOOGLE STILL THE GO-TO?
Google has well been known as the main place to go for any question, that’s why we have the phrase “Have you Googled it?”
The first reference to “Google” being used as a verb in TV was in a 2002 episode of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”
Around 10 years later, it has been the most prominent search engine online, but is that changing?
With the birth of TikTok and people looking for online fame through being an influencer, TikTok has built a vast library of short videos.
These videos are not just of people dancing around to viral sound clips but of people in industries answering questions people have asked, or videos of things to do in destinations.
Typically, a younger audience is heading this trend, however it may prove useful to the masses sooner than we expect.
What makes a good search engine?
Before we dive in, thinking about what a good search engine is made up of will help us decipher whether TikTok falls into this category.
A Large amount of content indexed
Able to provide what a search is after
Understand what else a searcher might want to know.
So let’s get to the search engine wars
Right, so you don’t believe me? Let’s take an example then. If you were to visit a place on holiday and were stuck for things to do you may well search for “Things to do in [destination here]”
So what do the search results look like if you were in Faro (South of Portugal):
GOOGLE SEARCH – DESKTOP
Google gives us the classic sidebar about the place and then 3 adverts followed by the Trip Advisor website.
GOOGLE SEARCH – MOBILE
The mobile version is much the same though there are a few more pictures for the web pages.
Tik Tok on the other hand has videos instantly to watch on things to do, eat stay and even a guide to Faro without even scrolling.
Typically these are people that want to show off the best finds to get more views, likes and followers so creating the best content with the best advice to their aim.
On Google, the first result was an advert that wants you to book an activity rather than show you the best activities to do in Faro.
If you scroll a little further on TikTok it even has further suggested searches like Google
TIKTOK SUGGESTED SEARCH
GOOGLE SUGGESTED SEARCH
But what about all the misinformation on Tik Tok
Yes, that is a valid point, misinformation can be an issue, but it is also an issue with Google. Even though they try hard to keep it off it will always be an issue.
Anything you read or watch online should always be taken with a pinch of salt as you never know if there is an ulterior motive or how much truth there is behind someone’s claims.
YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have all been subject to misinformation or deep fakes. TikTok is no different.
But if you are just searching for a recipe, something to do in a place you are not familiar with or even just some movie suggestions, Tik Tok may be the better option.
So should we ditch Google and just use TikTok?
No, Google still has its place:
- online reviews for restaurants
- local business search
- in-depth information
is better placed on Google rather than a video under one min long on TikTok. At least for now.
Tik Tok for quick answers or a short video guide might be a better choice than our faithful Google.
What about YouTube instead of Tik Tok?
Yes, both YouTube and Tik Tok are video-based platforms but the main difference is YouTube will typically have longer videos almost like an episode of your favourite TV show and Tik Tok has those short clips.
Yes, there is YouTube Shorts, but that is never the reason I go onto YouTube, nor is it the main purpose of the platform.
Is TikTok taking over Google?
No probably not, although it may lose some traffic to TikTok on some of these choice searches.
Google still stands tall over other search engines, TikTok isn’t going to be the one to beat it.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Google even tries to buy a portion of TikTok or even tries integrating similar search suggestions on mobile.
How can you get traffic on TikTok?
Any business can gain traffic on TikTok but not in the same way as we have done for years on Google.
Take Duolingo, the language learning app, they have really pushed the bar out on what brands need to produce to gain followers and likes. It may be too uncomfortable for some traditional companies to branch out.
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