Are TikTok and Reddit Replacing Google?

For decades now, Google has been widely considered to be the first stop that you make when you start to surf the internet. This has given the tech juggernaut disproportionate power, with many criticizing it for acting as the arbiter for what people can find online and what ends up getting restricted. Few if any search engines have been able to compete with Google, but it turns out that its biggest threat might not be a stereotypical search engine at all.

While the search engine platform’s dominance is not going to dissipate anytime soon, since it still holds a 90% share of all search traffic, it is facing competition from the unlikeliest of sources: social media. That’s not to say that Facebook or Twitter are replacing it, but rather TikTok might be the platform that topples Google from its once secure throne.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that TikTok has taken the top spot from Google in terms of being the most popular domain on the web once before in 2021. Nowadays, 40% of Gen Z say that they prefer to make searches with platforms other than Google, and TikTok is emerging as a strong contender on that front.

This is leading to a state of crisis for Google because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up reducing its revenues. In the US, Google earned 67% of its total revenue from search engine advertising in 2016. Based on data provided by eMarketer, Google now receives just 54% of its overall revenues from the same source.

One could argue that this is a byproduct of Google trying to diversify its income streams, but in spite of the fact that this is the case, the threat of TikTok is difficult to ignore. In an attempt to keep this decline at bay, Google is trying to incorporate AI into its search engines in order to make the results more accurate and informative than might have been the case otherwise.

Users are frustrated by the startling prevalence of spam on Google’s SERP, with genuine search results often coming after a series of ads that are often not marked all that clearly. This is leading some users to believe that Google is trying to trick them into clicking on ads with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Another contender for the top spot might be Wikipedia, with the free source of information already providing a powerful search engine that allows users to take a look at all sorts of knowledge with zero ads in the bargain. TikTok and Wikipedia are joined by Reddit, with some users even specifying Reddit in their search queries in order to get better quality results.

It has come to a point where the top ranked results on Google’s SERP are actually the least likely to provide value. They mostly consist of spam and scams, and there is very little usable information that users can glean. Other platforms offer a much better user experience, which might result in the age of Google coming to a close after years of being unassailable.

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