Google loses in local search to Instagram, TikTok

Though Google remains popular for local search among older generations, Instagram (67%) and TikTok (62%) are preferred among Gen Z

Mar 18, 2024

The recent discoveries from SOCi confirm suspicions that Google's dominance in search might be wavering. While search remains the company's top segment in Q4, with a 12.7% year-over-year increase to $48 billion, the latest findings align with other reports, including leaked internal research from Google, suggesting that Gen Z users are increasingly turning to social platforms for search.

Key takeaways

  • Google has lost its status as the go-to platform among Gen Z for searching local businesses to visit in person. It has been supplanted by Instagram (67%) and TikTok (62%);
  • Google, now ranking third (61%) as Gen Z's preferred local search engine, still holds sway among older generations. However, social media is gaining traction across all demographics as a resource for finding local businesses;
  • As social platforms pose a more significant threat to Google's core service, the report also highlights the emergence of ChatGPT as another potential challenge. These findings coincide with Google's ongoing updates to its search service, including the recent incorporation of its Gemini artificial intelligence (AI) model into Google Ads.

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