The Youngins (Like Me) Prefer Discovery Over Search

aragon drake meme discovery over search

We’re lazy.

In fact, we’re so lazy that we don’t even want to perform the simple task of searching for something on Google.

And it totally makes sense.

Google’s game of SEO spits out ridiculously long, over-optimized content (if you’ve ever Googled recipes or workout programs you know what I mean) and you end up with annoyed users who are starting to distrust Google’s results. Their time is valuable and search engines are wasting it.

When you Google the recipe for Filipino chicken adobo, you get the textbook definition of what it is. I know what it is, just tell me how to make it.

In an effort to reduce the friction users are experiencing, Google has been implementing “zero-click” features on SERPs for a long time. Some of these include featured snippets, knowledge graphs, and tools like calculators.

When you Google how to buy a house (which is nearly impossible nowadays for us young folk), you get this featured snippet of the steps. No need to click, just pure value. I just bought a house, there’s definitely more than 10 steps.

I’m sure the UX wizards over at Google had good intentions, but there are unintended consequences for every action. Now, some users won’t click on anything! According to Search Engine Journal, 62% of mobile users never click on search results.

Shout out to the SEOs who work their butts off to rank on the first page only to not get clicked on.

Despite Google’s efforts to cater to those who won’t click on search results, younger users have gravitated toward more visually appealing platforms to start their research journey. They’d rather discover content than search for it. According to TechCrunch, SVP Prabhakar Raghavan of Google’s Knowledge & Information division said that “these users don’t tend to type in keywords but rather look to discover content in new, more immersive ways”.

That’s why visual platforms like TikTok are so successful. Take a look at TikTok’s monthly active users below.

TikTok isn’t slowing down any time soon. Photo creds: Sprout Social

TikTok’s highly addicting content, powerful algorithm, and mastery of the dopamine loop (an article for another time) make them the perfect platform for today’s users who prefer discovering visual, high-value content.

Strategic Implications

If you haven’t put any effort into creating content on the visual-first social media platforms like TikTok, you need to start like yesterday. Even if Gen Z isn’t your target audience right now, they will be eventually. Also, let’s not pretend that those older than Gen Z aren’t using TikTok too.

Do This

  • To get discovered and increase your reach, create or repurpose content and publish it on TikTok. This content needs to provide value quickly or users will bounce.
  • When it comes to organic social, optimize for impressions, not clicks. This means giving away all of your information in the post and not expecting people to click-through/visit your website to read more.
  • As far as SEO is concerned, optimizing for featured snippets should be your focus. If you don’t secure a featured snippet and a user has to click-through, get to the content that satisfies the query quickly.
Cyrille Aragon

Cyrille Aragon

Digital marketer with a passion for spreading the gospel. When I'm not working, I'm writing, lifting, or training Muay Thai.

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