The Death of Google and Why Search Has Moved to Social

Published on June 12, 2024
Author: Tara Byrne

The days of telling people to “just Google it” are slowly dwindling. In short, search is going social. 

Over the last few years, social media has grown to become the go-to search engine for younger generations. By offering unparalleled discoverability, it’s no wonder more than half of Gen Z cites TikTok not only to find new products and businesses, but to ask questions, get the facts, and bolster word-of-mouth recommendations.

Is Search on Social the Death of Google? 

Let’s be clear: Google isn’t going anywhere. It’s where the anxious turn for medical advice and where out-of-towners go for local recommendations. But it’s not the only outlet. 

Even Google knows just how transformative search on social can be. Take it from Google’s own Senior Vice President of Knowledge & Information, Prabhakar Raghavan, who calls out the shift firsthand: “Almost 40% of young people—when they’re looking for a place to eat lunch—don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.” 

Truth be told, that’s not the only reason Google and other traditional search engines should fear social search. Apps like TikTok were made with discoverability in mind—and with so much to discover, why look elsewhere?

The Birth of “Just TikTok It” 

It’s not surprising to hear that vertical video a la Instagram Reels and TikTok is a favored medium among consumers. It’s where they go for entertainment and seek access to user-generated, unbiased, and authentic content. From automotive to beauty, TikTok is a mecca across industries that continues to be the spot for engaging tutorials, reviews, recommendations, and opinion pieces.  
For brands craving attention and discoverability, TikTok’s algorithm serves as a valuable commodity. Popular because of its ability to personalize what consumers see based on past content interactions (like what they save or share and who they follow) and topics of interest (like the audio or hashtags you use most often), TikTok offers a healthy balance of recommendations based on both consumer influence and spontaneous exploration.  

Altogether, TikTok’s transformative offerings could give search engines like Google a run for their money. 

SEO Goes Social 

Search engine optimization (SEO) may require a title change now that social has some skin in the game.  

Traditionally, social media platforms made recommendations, like posts to explore or accounts to discover, based on hashtag usage. But are hashtags still #cool 

Well, as the digital landscape has evolved, brands are forced to shift strategies and tap into the minds of content marketing experts who know that, today, it’s all about keywords. Capturing relevant keywords in bios, video titles, image alt text, post captions, and the like is the norm, and doing it well is the key to brand discoverability.  

Luckily, brands can start migrating their SEO efforts to social, thanks to tools like Brandwatch and Sprinklr that help identify the best, most popular keywords among chosen target audiences. 

5 Easy Ways to Boost Searchability on Social 

Are you ready to change the way consumers discover your brand on social media? These optimization tips will be your guide to surefire search success.

1) Capitalize on Consistency: Ensure usernames are similar across all channels, if applicable, to improve cross-platform discovery. In tandem, be sure to include visible links to your social media accounts on your brand’s website for fast following. 

2) Inform and Inspire: Create content that seeks to answer your target audience’s most searched questions. What are your consumers asking their friends, popular influencers, and even top search engines about your brand? Tap into these insights with creative, inspiring, entertaining, and—above all—educational social media content that explains who you are, what you do, what you stand for, and why you’re the go-to. 

3) Insert Your Expertise: Speaking of educational content, creative that dips into practicality and helps guide consumers toward making better informed purchasing decisions improves retention! Use your expertise to focus content away from what you’re selling with hacks, reviews, tutorials, and how-tos that offer subliminal messaging and secure visibility. 
4) Prioritize People: User-generated content (UGC) brings a human element to your brand’s content by showcasing personal experiences and perspectives from members of your target audience. From collaborating with real customers, dedicated employees, unique brand ambassadors, and micro- or macro-influencers, UGC offers improved authenticity that ranks on both search and social by building trust and straying from traditional advertising techniques.  
5) Recycle and Repurpose: If Taylor Swift can re-record her songs and make our entire listening experience that much better, who says your brand can’t do the same on social? Extend the lifecycle of your brand’s content by repurposing it across all platforms—especially content with strong engagement and unparalleled performance metrics! Brainstorm ways to cut long-form videos into vertical content for TikTok, Reels, and Shorts. Or, do the opposite and bolster your brand’s best short-form videos by creating corresponding long-form video or blog content.  

Learn, Earn, and Grow: The Future of Search on Social 

We’ll say it louder for the people in the back: Google isn’t going anywhere.  

But, with the age of telling our friends to “TikTok it” well upon us, it’s high time your brand is seen, heard, and searchable.  

AGAIN Interactive helps your voice get heard. Speak louder in search with guidance from voice SEO and search on social experts passionate about getting your brand in front of its rightful audience. Drop us a line at to learn, earn, and grow on social.

Tara Byrne

Tara is a part of the account team here at AGAIN Interactive. When she’s not helping clients achieve their digital marketing goals, she can be found shopping, reading, picking up an iced latte, or taking her dog for a walk.

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