Plot Twist: Google May Not Be Winning the Search War

by | Apr 19, 2024 | blog, Business, Content Marketing, writing

Since its inception, the internet has been used to share information. While it began as a tool that scientists used to communicate data, the internet has now become an overwhelming collection of knowledge that’s accessible to almost anyone. This can make finding answers extremely challenging, especially when you don’t know where to begin your search. 

Because combing through an endless reservoir of information can be chaotic, the creators of search engines have long been battling to make the best program that helps internet users find answers quickly. However, a new competitor has recently entered the running of these “search wars.” Within the past decade, the use of social media platforms as search engines has skyrocketed, ultimately leaving search engine creators scrambling to figure out how they can bring users back.   

The Battle Between Search Engines

A search engine is a complex combination of algorithms and programs that comb through the internet’s extensive database to find answers that are relevant to your search. Both engineers and big businesses have been attempting to create the top search engine for decades. However, to do so, inventors must be able to meet the frequently changing needs of their users.

There have been countless search engines to arise over the years, with only a few able to hold their ground as time goes on. The first few search engines that were created, such as Archie, were great starting points but offered limited assistance due to their small databases. After larger companies saw the potential in these search engines, they attempted to develop their own. This eventually led to the birth of two well-known search engines: Yahoo and AOL.

Both AOL and Yahoo were at the top for years until the creation of Google. After going public in 2004, Google quickly garnered attention due to its unique algorithms that were consistently updated throughout the year. Google was able to search through the most information in the shortest amount of time, all while finding answers that were much more accurate than other engines. Its speed, consistent accuracy, and convenience are just a few of the reasons Google has maintained its status as one of the top search engines to date. 

However, even though Google has worked tirelessly to maintain its reputation as the top search engine, the company still battles competitors. Bing, who is one of Google’s leading competitors, is consistently transforming its engine to be smarter and faster than Google’s. In fact, the company’s latest update brings AI-enhanced search into the picture and aims to revolutionize the way people use the internet. 

Why Social Media Platforms Are Becoming the Top Search Engines

Many people are shocked to hear that social media platforms are used more for online searches than actual search engines. However, there are myriad reasons why people are turning to social media to find their answers instead of search engines like Bing or Google. The following are just some of the reasons social media has become the front-runner in the search wars:

  • Users Discover More Relevant Products and Businesses

Social media platforms have spent years forming algorithms tailored to their users’ behavior. These algorithms are designed to curate results relevant to the user as well as push them towards new products, businesses, and sites based on their activity. Social media platforms create and place targeted ads precisely to engage their viewers and push them toward new discoveries. This makes finding new businesses, products, and services as easy as possible. Plus, you can also find honest product reviews from real people on social media, many of which big companies hide on their sites. 

  • Search Suggestions Make Searching Easy

Platforms like TikTok and Instagram have millions of users who are active every day. By using their advanced algorithms, social media platforms developed “search suggestions” that point users toward a topic or product that is relevant to the content they’re viewing. Search suggestions help push searches immensely because they not only bring up answers to the content you’re viewing but also form searches for people before they realize they want to search them.

For example, TikTok recently implemented a feature where a suggested search is present at the top of every video’s comment section. This suggested search points users toward the main topic, question, or product that they saw in the video and provides them with results related to that search. By placing the question right in front of the user, all they have to do to search endless results is simply add a hashtag and click the prompt.  

  • Users Want Genuine Answers

As the presence of AI in the online world continues to grow, many people find themselves craving authenticity. Simply put, many people are looking for real, honest answers from people who are like them. For instance, the majority of people prefer to consult a Facebook group or Reddit thread versus asking an AI-powered chatbot to determine whether a restaurant has good food. This is because social media platforms offer users real answers provided by real people. While the power of AI has proven helpful in a variety of scenarios, its lack of substance pushes users away. 

  • Searching on Social Media Is Convenient

If there’s one thing that today’s consumers love, it’s convenience. Many social media users have been active on various platforms for years, often bouncing through multiple sites each day. By adding search engines to their platforms, social media companies created an entirely new layer of convenience for their users. 

Now, instead of having to exit their app or switch tabs to go to a separate search engine, users can easily type their questions into their social media’s search bar or click their search suggestions to find answers without leaving. Because browsing social media is almost like a habit for so many people, being able to search while on a certain platform is incredibly convenient and also plays into the decreasing number of search engine users.

Superior Content for Humans, by Humans

As a company that specializes in creating unique content in an oversaturated online world, we know just how much authenticity matters. Our team has seen firsthand how search engines’ algorithms can impact your site or business, which is why we prioritize creating engaging, genuine content that’s also one-of-a-kind. Contact Better Content Matters to help your business stand out in search results and build new connections today. 

Erika Lyijynen

Erika Lyijynen

Erika Lyijynen is a freelance writer and photographer. Her home roots are in Michigan, where she attended Wayne State University and graduated with a degree in Media Arts and Studies. When Erika’s not writing, she works as a concert photographer and tour manager in Philadelphia. Erika has always had a deep love for both music and writing and is ecstatic to do what she loves in more ways than one.