TikTok beats Google.com as most popular web domain in 2021


TikTok’s rapid rise is well documented, but milestones like this may still shock the non-Gen Z crowd. According to cloud services company Cloudflare, the social media platform’s website has spoofed Google. com as the world’s most popular web domain. The five-year-old app has surpassed the Goliath Google internet search as well as the rest of Google’s digital properties (like Maps, Shopping, News, Images, Translate, etc.). Last year, TikTok ranked seventh in Cloudflare’s web traffic rankings, behind Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Amazon.

Owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, it’s also the only non-US site to have a place in Cloudflare’s top 10:

  1. TikTok.com
  2. Google FR
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Microsoft.com
  5. Apple.com
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Netflix.com
  8. YouTube.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. Whatsapp.com

Cloudflare notes that this rank is calculated using the aggregate data it has on Internet traffic patterns. This data includes statistics on a domain’s popularity, percentage change in web traffic, and rank change over the selected period (in this case, one month). It does not necessarily track with different data the total number of unique visitors or users to a website in a month. For the total number of users, Facebook still takes this cake.

But TikTok is an undeniable force in almost every way: one report estimates that some 167 million TikTok videos are streamed every minute of every day. Their numbers eclipse the activity of other websites: Google, which handles about 90% of all Internet searches, performs 5.7 million searches per minute. YouTube and Netflix users stream barely 1 million hours of content every 60 seconds, combined. But TikTok says it has 1 billion active users, nearly half of whom are between 16 and 24 years old. These numbers don’t really reflect its true ubiquity either, as it’s easy to embed TikTok videos into platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, potentially increasing their number of visits to the site instead of TikTok.

This, coupled with the fact that TikTok videos are ad-length out-of-the-box, which is why advertisers now consider TikTok to be the “holy grail of marketing,” as a New York Times yesterday’s article put it. The story notes that on the app, the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which seems absurd out of context, has now been viewed over 7 billion times.

Cloudflare’s recap of the year’s most popular web domains has a few other notable trends. On the one hand, Instagram didn’t make it to the list of the best of the year at all. And the race for those top spots can be tight, as the Facebook breakdown in October showed: after this six to seven hour downtime, the site dropped from 3rd to 4th place in the ranking of Cloudflare for seven full days. Plus, Microsoft’s website – sort of an anti-TikTok baby boomer stronghold – is still at No. 4, putting it above Amazon, YouTube, and Twitter.


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