Social vs. Search – Is Pinterest the new Google?

Social vs. Search – Is Pinterest the new Google?

By Hope Gorton

Can you imagine a world without Google?

Well, maybe you should.

What if we’re no longer seeking factual, informative text based answers but for aesthetically pleasing answers that challenge our ‘one answer to everything’ theory?

If we take a look at some key engagement stats from MDG Advertising:

  • Articles with images get 94% more total views.
  • 60% of people are more likely to contact a business when an image shows up in a search.
  • 67% say the quality of a product image is very important when purchasing a product.
  • Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% ,whereas text is 0.27%

With statistics like these, it’s no wonder image-dominated social channels such as Pinterest are on the rise.

But could they really be the new Google? Many seem to think so.

Experts including Vincent Ng and Cynthia Sanchez believe that Pinterest has the potential to outshine the search engine king.

During the #SMMW15 event, it was proclaimed that “39% of active users on Pinterest will use it to search before they go to Google.” That’s a pretty big statement.

If we look at the statistics above it is clear to see that visual content reaches larger rates of engagement, compared to text based posts. Therefore, we can’t totally disregard this statement and any others about the wonders of Pinterest.

There’s No Right Answer

Pinterest has  grown stronger over the years and is a now a force to be reckoned with. Marketers are realising the true potential of Pinterest and are using their best efforts to grow their brands successfully using this tool.

Not only has Pinterest become a needed tool in marketing, Pinterest is enjoyed by millions of active users who use this visual channel every day for motivation, inspiration and pleasure.

Pinterest has become a search engine of its own kind, even having a service that Google cannot provide.

We turn to Google when we want one answer; the right answer. But what about the moments in life when there is no right answer but multiple right answers? This is where Pinterest’s latest feature, Guided Search comes into play.

Guided Search allows users to search for such terms as ‘healthy breakfast recipes’, ‘how to customise a chair’ or ‘holiday destinations’ and provide numerous images, information and links to exactly what that user is looking for, even if they don’t know it yet.

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Pin To The Future

Of course, we’re not going to forget about Google overnight. Although Pinterest is being used as a (successful) search engine, both tools provide very different user experiences – one provides multiple images to those who are not looking for one answer and the other provides factual information to those who know what they are searching for and are looking for the right answer.

As far as things are going, we could very well see a change in dynamic as to how we search and may consider using different platforms from what is considered the norm.

Over to you

What do you think? Is Google on the path to becoming extinct and is this just the start for Pinterest?

This post was written by Hope Gorton

Hope is one of myclever™ Agency's Social Media Executives, working with clients and internally to manage successful social media campaigns.