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Gen Z's Searching Habits



Dan O'Connor

Gen Z's are moving away from Google as the go-to for web searches.

For years, Google has been the go-to answer machine for web searches. But a new trend is emerging, and it spells a potential shift in how we find information online. Gen Z, the generation born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, is increasingly turning to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram for their search needs.

Studies show a significant portion of Gen Z, nearly 40%, are bypassing Google and heading straight to social media for answers. This isn't just a casual scroll through their feeds either. Gen Z is actively using search functions within these platforms and consuming informative videos and influencer content to learn about everything from the latest fashion trends to complex scientific concepts.

While Google remains the dominant search engine overall, this trend suggests a changing landscape.  Experts point to Gen Z's preference for visual content and a more social approach to information gathering as key drivers.  Short, engaging videos on TikTok and curated content from trusted influencers on Instagram appear to be resonating more with this generation than traditional text-based search results.

This shift has major implications for businesses and content creators. Reaching Gen Z requires adapting to their preferred platforms and communication styles. Bite-sized videos, authenticity, and a strong social media presence are becoming crucial for brands hoping to connect with this influential demographic.

Affiliate Flash’s Take:

The shift does mean there are some things for affiliates to consider.


  • Discovery: Affiliate links traditionally live within written content like blog posts or articles. With less reliance on search engines, affiliate marketers may need to find new ways for Gen Z to discover their recommendations.

  • Competition: Social media platforms are already saturated with content. Standing out and getting noticed by Gen Z amidst the constant barrage of information will require creative strategies.

  • Metrics and Tracking: Measuring the success of affiliate campaigns on social media can be trickier compared to traditional website analytics. Marketers will need to adapt their tracking methods to capture conversions influenced by social media promotions.


  • Visual Storytelling: Gen Z's preference for visual content aligns perfectly with the potential of influencer marketing. Affiliate marketers can partner with relevant influencers on TikTok and Instagram to showcase products and services in a captivating way.

  • Building Trust: Social media fosters a more personal connection between creators and audiences. Affiliate marketers can leverage this to build trust with Gen Z by providing genuine reviews and recommendations.

  • Micro-Influencers: Partnering with micro-influencers (those with smaller, highly engaged followings) can be a powerful strategy. These influencers often have strong relationships with their audience and can be highly effective in promoting products.

  • Trendjacking: Staying on top of trending topics and challenges on social media allows affiliate marketers to insert their products or services into relevant conversations organically.

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