TikTok: Gen Z’s New Go-To Search Engine

Will Tiktok Search Replace Google Search

Orlando Social Media Marketing

TikTok is the world’s fastest-growing social media app, and it’s not just for dancing and lip-syncing anymore. Gen Z users are turning to TikTok for everything from entertainment to news to education. And now, TikTok is also becoming a major search engine for Gen Z.

A recent survey* from Her Campus Media found that over half of Gen Z women prefer TikTok for search over Google. This is a major shift in search behavior, and it has implications for digital marketers of all sizes.

Why Gen Z loves TikTok search

There are a few reasons why Gen Z loves TikTok search:

Video-centric results

Gen Z is a video-first generation. They prefer to consume content in video format, and they find TikTok’s video-centric search results to be more engaging and attention-grabbing than Google’s list of blue links.

Relatable content

TikTok’s search results are generated by real users and influencers, which makes them feel more authentic and relatable to Gen Z audiences. Gen Z users trust and respect the opinions of their peers, so they are more likely to click on search results from people they know and follow.

Personalized results

TikTok’s recommendation algorithm is highly personalized, so users are more likely to find results that are relevant to their interests. This makes the search experience more efficient and enjoyable for Gen Z users.


TikTok’s algorithm is very good at discovering new content and recommending it to users. This means that brands have a better chance of getting their content seen by potential customers on TikTok than on other platforms.

What it means for digital marketers

The rise of TikTok search presents both challenges and opportunities for digital marketers. A recent study (2024 Adobe Survey) shows this trend is widespread, with 40% of consumers across age groups using TikTok to search for information they need or are curious about. Younger generations are leading this trend, with 64% of Gen Z and 49% of millennials relying on TikTok for search.

On the one hand, it gives brands access to millions of hard-to-reach Gen Zers who spend an average of 90+ minutes per day on the app. On the other hand, brands need to create content that is specifically optimized for TikTok search, which requires a new set of skills and knowledge.

Tips for businesses who want to succeed on TikTok search

1. Create high-quality video content

TikTok users expect high-quality video content. Your videos should be well-produced and visually appealing.

2. Focus on education and entertainment

Gen Z users are looking for content that is both informative and entertaining. Create videos that teach them something new, make them laugh, or inspire them.

3. Be authentic

Gen Z users can spot a fake from a mile away. Be genuine and authentic in your videos, and let your personality shine through.

4. Be consistent

The key to success on TikTok is to be consistent with your posting schedule. Aim to post at least one new video per day.

5. Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get your videos discovered by new users. When you create a video, be sure to include relevant hashtags in the description.

6. Collaborate with influencers

Partnering with TikTok influencers is a great way to get your content in front of a wider audience. Look for influencers who have a following in your niche and who create videos that are relevant to your target audience.

7. Invest in TikTok advertising

TikTok advertising is a great way to reach a targeted audience and promote your videos. TikTok offers a variety of ad formats, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs and budget.

TikTok is a powerful new search engine that brands need to take seriously. By embracing TikTok’s unique culture and optimizing for its engaged, video-loving Gen Z audience, brands can reap rich rewards. By following these tips, digital marketers can create a successful TikTok search strategy that will help them reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals.

Digital Marketing Agency Orlando 

At M5 Design Studio, we help brands harness TikTok’s immense influence with Gen Z audiences. We can help you research trending keywords, build engaging profiles, and analyze performance. Let us help you win over Generation Z and become a TikTok marketing leader. To learn more about our digital marketing services, contact us today online e or call us at 407-968-6296

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Omnicore Agency (2023, February 27). TikTok by the Numbers: Stats, Demographics & Fun Facts. Retrieved from https://www.omnicoreagency.com/tiktok-statistics/

Search Engine Land. (2023, July 12). Survey: 51% of Gen Z women prefer TikTok, not Google, for search. Retrieved from: https://searchengineland.com/gen-z-tiktok-google-search-survey-431345

Adobe Express (2024, January 4). Using TikTok as a Search Engine. Retrieved from https://www.adobe.com/express/learn/blog/using-tiktok-as-a-search-engine

Note: This article has been updated on March 4th, 2024 to reflect the latest findings from the 2024 Adobe Survey.

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