How TikTok: A New Player in the Search Engine Evolution

Southern Cross Media | How TikTok: A New Player in the Search Engine Evolution

The evolution of internet search engine tools

The evolution of internet search engine tools has been a continuous process that started with the first search engines in the 1990s. The earliest search engines were simple tools that relied on keyword matching to return results. They were primarily used for text-based searches, and their results were often cluttered with irrelevant or low-quality websites. However, the need for more sophisticated search engines grew as the internet grew.

In the early 2000s, Google emerged as the dominant search engine, thanks to its complex algorithms that ranked websites based on relevance, authority, and user engagement. This marked the beginning of the era of “search engine optimization” (SEO), where website owners started to optimize their websites to rank higher in the search result. Google’s algorithm continued to evolve and improve, and today, it uses hundreds of ranking signals to deliver the most relevant and valuable results.

New guy on the search engine block

TikTok, the short-form video app that has taken the world by storm, is not just a platform for creating and consuming content; it’s also becoming a powerful search engine. According to the New York Times, 40% of Gen Z (those born roughly between 1997 and 2012) have adopted TikTok as their go-to search engine when looking for anything from local restaurant reviews to a how-to guide for changing a tire. Because of the app’s propensity for real-time and on-location authenticity and older generations and businesses’ sharing their knowledge and skills, Gen Z is paving the way for how businesses and entrepreneurs are discovered, reviewed, and shared throughout the online and brick-and-mortar community. As the app continues to grow in popularity, more and more businesses are discovering the potential of TikTok as a tool for reaching and engaging with their target audience. With its unique algorithm and personalized feed, TikTok can surface content highly relevant to each user, making it an effective way for brands to connect with their customers and drive conversions. 

Pros and cons of TikTok as a search engine tool

As a new kid, as there is so much budding potential for being a top contender for ‘Search Engine Supreme,’ there are still some obvious growing pains. Is TikTok a foolproof tool for searching and sharing information, E-commerce, and local SEO? No. Here are some pros and cons of utilizing TikTok as a search engine.


  • TikTok’s algorithm and personalized feed can surface content highly relevant to each user, making it an effective way for brands to connect with their target audience.
  • TikTok’s short-form video format allows businesses to showcase their products and services in a visually engaging way, which can be more impactful than traditional text-based search results.
  • TikTok is a relatively new platform, which means there is less competition and more opportunities for businesses to stand out and be discovered.
  • TikTok’s search engine tool can also be used by individual creators, entrepreneurs, and influencers to promote their brands and grow their following.


  • TikTok is a relatively new platform and not as widely adopted as Google, meaning it has a smaller user base and fewer data to work with.
  • TikTok’s search engine tool is less mature than Google’s and may not be able to return as accurate or comprehensive results.
  • TikTok’s search engine tool may be less helpful for businesses not in fashion, beauty, food, beverage, etc., as it is primarily used for entertainment.
  • TikTok’s algorithm is based on engagement and can be manipulated, so there is a risk that businesses may not be reaching the right audience or that their target audience may not see their content.

It’s essential to remember that TikTok is still a new platform, and its search engine tool is still evolving, so the pros and cons may change over time. Google and TikTok have different user bases; Google users are more likely to be older and use the platform for practical purposes, while TikTok users are younger and use the platform primarily for entertainment and socializing. Both platforms have their strengths and appeal to different audiences, and businesses should consider both when deciding which platform to use to reach their target audience.

In conclusion, TikTok is now joining the evolution of internet search engines. The platform’s unique algorithm and personalized feed have made it an effective tool for businesses and individuals to reach and engage with their target audience. As more and more users flock to the platform, businesses are starting to see the potential of TikTok as a search engine tool. As always, businesses must stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the digital world to make the best decisions regarding reaching their target audience.

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