TikTok usurps Google as top website

tiktok on phone screen
(Image credit: Pixabay)

It’s fairly unsurprising that the most popular website in the world tends to be Google.com. People all over the world use Google every day to search the web for almost anything. Most people I know have it as their homepage for quick searches. Even if they didn’t want to use it when opening a browser, it still gets loaded up. So, for good reason, most website ranking tools online are pretty steadfast in giving Google the top spot in traffic, most years.

That might just be changing, as web security and optimisation company CloudFlare's (Thanks Gizmodo) ranking website traffic data for 2021 places TikTok ahead of Google for the most popular domains. Last year Google took out first place, and the newer social media website only sat at 7th place. CloudFlare explains TikTok first came out ahead of Google for a day in February 2021 and continued to do so here and there. It wasn’t until August that TikTok was regularly beating out Google in daily traffic.

CloudFlare includes more information about its rankings, which explains they are calculated by analysing aggregate data and the results are a combination of popularity, the percentage change in traffic patterns, and the change in rank over time. Domains are grouped and displayed under their most well known version, and pornography and content servers were excluded from the rankings. TikTok is also the only non-US company to make CloudFlare’s top ten, being owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance.

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This could be why all the other website ranking services I’ve checked, don’t exactly agree with CloudFlare’s rankings, or at least not yet. Each still puts Google.com firmly at the top followed by the usual suspects of Facebook and Amazon. RankRanger for example doesn’t show TikTok until spot 69, which it had made a nice climb from position 187 to get there. SimilarWeb, which is shown on Wikipedia for website rankings puts TikTok at 22nd as of November 1, 2021.  Given that TikTok is primarily used as an App, it could be that these sites don’t factor that data in, or some other factor in measuring making up this difference, or maybe they just haven’t quite caught up.

Regardless of where it sits, TikTok is no joke when it comes to popularity. It had a surge of growth during the pandemic which has seen its demographics expand from mostly just Gen Z to countless people around the planet looking to connect and kill time. You can use it to check out this Half-Life designer’s early prototypes, or get Fortnite Chapter 3 leaked for you. The popularity has made it prolific for advertising, meaning brands are also throwing money into the platform which is only helping that growth, at least for now. 

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here. No, she’s not kidding.