Social Media Features Trend – New Competition for Google?
To say Google is the dominant player in the web search space would be a bit of an understatement. For most people, searching the web is synonymous with “Googling” something – they are one and the same. The massive brand has held this position online for some time, and the idea of anyone competing with Google has seemed like a long shot for years. But it’s not! History has taught us that anything can happen on the internet, just Ask Jeeves.
A recent trend in the social media landscape has highlighted the possibility that other brands might start to work their way into the areas traditionally held by Google properties. Let’s take a look at this trend in the article below.
A Couple of Examples
There are other search engines available on the web, of course, and none manage to attract any meaningful share of search traffic. So, simply launching a new search tool like the one Google has already built would be unlikely to grab much attention. With that said, offering services that overlap with some of what Google does may be a way to utilize an existing audience more efficiently.
Here are two examples of that concept –
Instagram Searchable Map. It’s not just Google’s traditional web search that is a dominant property in the search space. Google Maps is massively popular, as well, both for navigation and discovery. On the latter point, Instagram has recently released a maps feature that allows users to search and filter on a map to find things near where they are. If people are already on Instagram, this could compel them to simply use the map in that app rather than switching over to Google Maps when looking for something.
TikTok Search. Another popular social media platform, TikTok, could also be taking its share of the action away from Google. In this case, it’s more about performing searches within the app instead of leaving it for a Google app or browser. TikTok has invested in improving the performance of its search tool, so more and more users – particularly those in a young age bracket – will just look for things right there. Will TikTok be the next search engine? With its reputation for overtaking other platforms as we’ve seen with Facebook and YouTube it really makes you wonder.
An Uncertain Future
It’s hard to say where the future of search is headed. On the one hand, it makes sense that social media platforms that already have huge audiences would leverage their reach to keep people within their apps to perform searches and use maps. With that said, Google has a massive head start in terms of the technology required to deliver a quality search experience. With so much data already collected, and certainly tons of proprietary knowledge behind the scenes, it won’t be an easy task for anyone to slide in and topple them as the leaders in search.
Most likely, these various social media platforms will find their own niches within search where they can be successful while still leaving the bulk of search for Google to handle. And, as always, things come back to money – the companies that are best able to turn the attention they get from users and searchers into revenue are the ones that will lead the way.
Is Google on the way out? Hardly – it stands to reason that Google will remain the world’s most popular search engine for many years to come. With that said, web users have more and more options available, and that competition might gradually change the digital landscape and the way sites and content are discovered. We really like Brave’s new search, You.com, and DuckDuckGo! Ecosia is another great alternative to Google, because they use ad revenue to plant trees. Your searches can save the earth and how cool is that?
It will be fascinating to see how this all plays out!
For more trending topics check out our previous blog on Top Five SEO Trends to Watch in 2022.