TikTok is accidentally killing Google. The social media newcomer is booming at the expense of Google’s search volume. Ad spend is also being directed to TikTok instead of Google.
What makes TikTok different?
- Focuses on short-form video content
- Leverages entertainment peer pressure to generate new content
- Driven by user-generated content
These differences create a platform with a huge appeal for Gen Z. 40% of Gen Z looks for entertainment and lifestyle information via video. TikTok is pulling users in this demographic from Google.
Why is this happening? What can your business do to leverage the changes into more revenue?
Google Search Testing Features
Google is moving speedily to respond to TikTok’s growing market share. Its senior executives recognise that dominance is based on data analysis. Google Search is testing new features to match and reclaim some of that audience.
Part of TikTok’s growing success is its own use of search features. Doing hashtag searches on TikTok will now generate culturally relevant elements. These include topics like music, people, and live events. Viewers can further filter based on likes and views. The filters show a different set of videos that consumers relate to and interact with. Brand owners who are savvy with SEO keywords can match their unique content to this audience of young people.
As an example of what Google is doing, Google Maps is now incorporating augmented reality [AR] to show a user’s position directly in their environment. This is in lieu of having to navigate which way to go based on a blue dot flashing on the screen. AR is a growing market in and of itself, and Google is taking advantage of that.
Google is testing Video Carousels, which delivers a bundle of related videos in a separate section. Carousels appear in almost 20% of queries to draw in the audience who is searching for more visual topics. The internet giant is also tweaking its algorithm to show web-only videos. That gives the searcher a bigger chance to direct back to Google for information.
Improvements to TikTok’s own search tools include adding a predictive text feature. It suggests common searches as a user is typing. That has lowered the need for many to go off-platform for their news and lifestyle needs. They can discover just as much from a TikTok For You Page as they could by searching keywords on Google.
Ad Spend, TikTok vs Google
This seismic shift has huge implications for brand owners who rely on Google Ads from Google. Experts have made it clear that TikTok is winning when it comes to impressions on their ads. There is a greater variety of ad spending that is available. Content creators have a greater incentive to become involved with TikTok.
The social media platform recently announced TikTok Pulse this week. Pulse will allow advertisers to place ads directly next to the most-watched videos. The algorithm places Pulse ads next to the top 4% of all videos on TikTok. The platform has also announced plans to share the windfall from this new program. It will go to publishers with over 100,000 followers. Those users will get a 50/50 revenue split from the ad spend.
For experts, ad send is tied to interactions on the part of consumers. Higher buyer intent is seen more with Google search ads—consumers who run the search are in need of some kind of product or service. Though, the experts also now consider TikTok to have a similar amount of pull to what Google offers.
TikTok now offers personalised branding solutions. With TikTok, you can create your own branded marketing channel. You can learn more about audience targeting in Google ads at the link.
Brand owners and content creators should analyse specific ad numbers to decide where to deliver their products. The average cost per click for Google search ads can range from $1 to $2 through the absolute average across all industries. Prices can range from $0.5 to $150 depending on the industry.
The average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) of Google display ads can range from $0.50 to $4 CPM, with $3.12 CPM being the average. The average CPM of TikTok ads starts from $10 CPM, which is higher than Google’s, but it is gaining a higher audience share, resulting in a corresponding higher ROI.
How will Google respond?
Google is already responding and changing its powerful algorithm to show videos. Its intention is to keep users on the platform. Specifically for search results, there is an ongoing evaluation. Beforehand, users would type in a couple of basic keywords into a search engine to get a list of blue links in return.
Search engines later became capable of understanding natural language and then added capabilities for handling voice queries. Voice now drives 30% of all queries so new internet users do not even have to type. Google has driven this technological evolution in large part and will continue to respond to maintain market dominance.
Threat to Google
TikTok has become a large threat by becoming both an alternate hub of information and a place of online discovery. It is a challenger as long as many new users stick to the platform for search purposes. As part of another strategy to ease this up, the tech titan wants to use AI to understand the posted videos better.
Threat to YouTube
YouTube is the world’s largest collection of videos, and it is owned by Google. It is therefore particularly vulnerable to the video content on TikTok. Business Insider previously reported about the threat TikTok poses to YouTube. It predicts TikTok’s advertising revenue will overtake YouTube by 2024.
Meta’s Instagram is also a chief competitor to both YouTube and TikTok through its Reels videos, which are vertical shorts made for mobile viewing.
If you want to join this internet revolution, and get in front of the 40% of 18-24-year olds who use TikTok for information searches, reach out to the social media experts at Paramount.