Is TikTok becoming the world’s biggest search engine?
Over the past decade, Google has been the world’s biggest search engine. The total amount of Google searches that take place every year is unknown, but it is estimated that there are roughly two trillion Google searches yearly. This means that on average, everyone uses Google three to four times every day. But TikTok may dethrone Google as the number one search engine. TikTok is currently the world’s most popular website and more and more people use the platform as their preferred search engine.
The Growth of TikTok
TikTok was launched in 2016 by ByteDance, a start-up company in China. The platform was known as Douyin in China and was introduced as TikTok in 2017 when it expanded outside of China. The company then bought Musical.ly, which was a platform similar to TikTok. Musical.ly and TikTok merged in 2018 and this resulted in TikTok having more downloads than Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube respectively. By 2020, TikTok had over two billion downloads worldwide and was the seventh most visited website at the time. By the end of 2021, Cloudfare, an IT security company, announced that TikTok had become the most popular website and knocked Google off its number one ranking.
People Prefer TikTok Over Google
Although Google has been the leading search engine for over a decade, TikTok has become the preferred search engine for some. More and more people have shorter attention spans on the internet. TikTok solves this problem as it allows content that is short and informative. Many people also prefer visual content over textual content. Google does offer visual content, but it has to be searched for, while TikTok offers it immediately. Often the content on TikTok offers the information needed visually and with audio that explains it.
People have also chosen to use TikTok as a search engine as Google does not always provide the results they are looking for. Due to clickbait and improper SEO practices, the search results that appear at the top may not always be correct or desired. This is why some people choose to use TikTok.
TikTok May Not Be The Most Reliable Search Engine
Although TikTok offers more direct information that can be consumed easier than text on Google, it is not the most reliable source. Anyone can upload content onto TikTok which may cause the spread of false information or fake news. Not all information uploaded onto TikTok is false information, but the platform should be used to learn about trends, recipes, and less serious topics rather than using it to find quotable information.
Digital Marketers Can Take Advantage Of This
As TikTok has dethroned Google as the most popular website, it has become a big competitor for all other major websites. Because of this, TikTok has offered a range of new opportunities to digital marketers. TikTok focuses on short-form video content and this is what digital marketers should add to their content strategy when tackling TikTok.
The Bottom Line
Although TikTok is currently the world’s most popular website and one of the most popular search engines, it is unlikely that TikTok would become the world’s largest search engine. This is due to the fact that the validity of the content uploaded onto TikTok is often not verified, which means that the information received from TikTok will not always be credible. TikTok may become the world’s largest search engine if the content uploaded onto the platform is verified.