In this episode of BTW with BTM, we discuss the impact that major social media platform TikTok, could have on Google as a search engine. A recent Tweet set off a flurry of activity around the claim that TikTok was proving to be a better search engine than Google. Give it a brief listen as we breakdown the two platforms and their strengths in your marketing strategy.

The Redirect Podcast · [Ep.6] BTW with BlackTruck] Will TikTok Dominate Google as a Search Engine?

Why does TikTok Matter to Search?

Let’s get one thing clear, TikTok is all user-generated content and as a matter of opinion, comparing a search engine to a social platform is an apples-to-oranges comparison. That said, let’s not be naive to the fact that user-generated content can impact brands at a global scale.

TikTok offers up content to people who are more visually inclined to look for things. But ultimately, people are there first and foremost.. To be entertained. I’m not saying it doesn’t have power in the realm of your digital marketing efforts, but keep in mind of what users are doing there.

Which also means, yes, they could be introduced to your brand by way of discovery.

User Volumes Matter

Google continues to dominate. While I’m not here to argue policies of big tech, because TikTok is just as guilty – you have to take into account the sheer volume of searches performed every day on Google. Globally, it’s 5.6 Billion searches per day.

Why does Google Matter to User Generated Content?

Google is still, by and large, the de facto source for the research process in our lives. Whether you’re looking to book a trip and want to research the things to do in a city, or you’re looking for a local mechanic or someone to inspect your plumbing. 

Google also is getting better at, I’m not saying they’re perfect, but getting better at indexing different types of content. Which also means, someone might find out about your brand via TikTok, Instagram, etc. and then go look it up in a Google Search. The inverse of that is, if you really want to know what a restaurant looks like, or hotel, you jump on Instagram or TikTok and search for that location. Meaning, they both play hand-in-hand and can feed off of the user’s interaction.

Google is an Answer Engine, not a Search Engine

Over the years, for better or for worse (we’re not here to judge), we trust Google. We go to Google to seek out solutions to our problems and answers to our questions. Meaning, the faster marketers can migrate away from it being a search engine and more in tune with it being an answer engine – we can have a better understanding of it.

At the end of the day, we’re marketing to humans, not brands. Focusing less on the platform, more on the audience. Produce content that is what they want to read, that is helpful to them and position it to where they’re at and what’s relevant to them at the time.

One thing is certain, Google isn’t going anywhere and neither is TikTok. Like many, the social platform that is TikTok will continue to evolve, as will Google as a search giant. But they are vastly different platforms – and that should be kept in mind, because we mustn’t expect the same results out of different platforms.

For additional tips and insights on how you can improve the relevancy of your brand online through search engine optimization, digital advertising and content strategies, please consider subscribing to our podcasts and monthly newsletters in the form below.