Is TikTok stealing searches from Google?

Nemash, 
Marketing & Content Manager, 
Young person searching on their phone

Recent data released by Google showed that 40% of Gen Z use TikTok to search rather than Google.

TikTok offers simple, bite-sized and targeted information due to its visually rich, video first nature. This is a great opportunity for businesses to find new customers, especially where younger users are learning and looking for new products and services.

So, what makes TikTok so appealing?

In a recent survey, Ofcom found that TikTok is the fastest growing news source for young adults, which, Senior Vice President of Google Search, Prabhakar Raghavan asserts, stems from the fact that Gen Z users don’t use keywords for search, but instead discover content in visually rich and immersive ways.

The short, snappy videos on TikTok play up to this by presenting information in a fast and concise way that means users are not needing to scroll through endless search results – a feature that many younger users say is a key when using social media for search.

In particular, TikTok’s algorithm is what makes it so popular. Not only does the ‘For You’ algorithm determine what a user might be interested in before they’ve even started looking for it, but it is also able to provide geo-specific recommendations for whatever it is that someone is searching for. This makes the search results on TikTok incredibly relevant for their users, and creates a ‘discovery based’ search engine over traditional search.

There is, however, a disparity in the types of content searched on TikTok versus traditional search. Research has shown that whilst restaurant, travel, recipe and fashion recommendations are currently popular on TikTok, many users will still use Google as a form of verification when actually looking to purchase a product or experience.

The key is that a younger user’s journey to discovery of products and brands doesn’t start on Google anymore.

So, don’t invest all your paid budget into TikTok! Instead adopt an Omni-Channel Approach

Google is evolving their products to connect with younger users. They have already started incorporating visual content into their search results by indexing Instagram and TikTok videos to appear before standard search results, and are also looking at incorporating images into their search algorithm to start searches based on what users can see through their phone camera, rather than keywords.

The key to incorporating TikTok into your paid campaigns is understanding that users will use different platforms based on their type of search, depending on the user base. Whilst TikTok is being used for experience and lifestyle recommendations, Google still trumps search for ‘heavier’ topics such as news and market research.

 

Top 5 Reasons You Should Start Using TikTok:

  • TikTok is a cheaper channel for you to acquire customers through, therefore reducing your overall costs and future proofing your business
  • TikTok traffic is both cheap and high-quality – CPMs and CPAs are up to 50% cheaper than META
  • Almost 40% of young people use TikTok instead of Google for search, and it is the fasted growing news source for adults
  • Its audience is diverse and growing – it is the fastest social media platform, most downloadable app and most visited domain
  • It has our full attention – users are spending 3x more time on TikTok than other social platforms like META – an average of 94 minutes each day!

Get in touch if you’d like to learn how TikTok could help your business.

Read our latest Case Study for TikTok success.