Google remains top search engine for Gen Z

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 16 Apr, 2024
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Survey shows increasing use of social media for search among Gen Z, but Google still dominates.

GenZ and search.

Image: pikisuperstar on Freepik

A study reported by Axios reveals that Google remains the starting point of choice for search for Gen Z. However, the figure is less than for the next cohort up.

  • 48% of those aged 18-24 start with Google in their online searches.
  • In those aged 25-39, the figure for Google is 58%.

While the numbers suggest a shift away from Google in Gen Z, the top social platforms are still some way behind when it comes to search.

  • 21% of those aged 18-24 start their online searches with TikTok and 5% with YouTube.

Google and others have developed and explored new ways to search, adapting to rapid advances in AI and changing user patterns especially among the younger. Google has expanded its Search Generative Experience and reports the highest satisfaction scores among younger users (aged 18-24) using generative AI in search.

Google is also showcasing more results from forums such as Reddit and social platforms, and developing new non-textual ways to search such as Circle to Search on Android.

Google has been plagued for some time by reports of low quality and worsening search results. Beyond anecdotal evidence, a study by German researchers found that this was in fact the case, with search engines suffering from a deluge of spammy, affiliate content optimised to appear in the results pages.

The figures from this study suggest that traditional search engines are far from losing their dominant position in online search. However habits are changing and a separate survey by Adobe earlier this year showed TikTok emerging as an unexpected contender in online search.  Marketers should be aware of and adapt their strategies to the growing trend towards using other platforms for search, as well as developments in AI which are changing the way people search online.

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