What you need to know
- Google has been eclipsed by TikTok as the most visited domain this year.
- TikTok secured the top spot in Cloudflare's 2021 ranking, climbing from No. 7 in 2020.
- However, Cloudflare notes that the ranking doesn't represent the number of unique visitors on a monthly basis.
- Facebook came in third, with Microsoft and the other tech giant's trailing behind.
TikTok has dethroned Google as the most popular domain worldwide in 2021, closing out the year with more traffic than the search giant. This was according to web security firm Cloudflare's top domain ranking for this year, which saw some interesting reshuffles.
Cloudflare's latest Year in Review report, through its Cloudflare Radar service, has revealed that TikTok grabbed the No. 1 spot from Google. For the video music platform, the ranking is quite a climb compared to last year when it only landed in the seventh spot, with Google.com at the top. It's worth that Google's domain covers the web activities on its other properties, including Maps, Translate, Photos, Flights, Books, and News.
TikTok also surpassed Facebook as the most popular social media platform, with the latter coming in third in the ranking. Microsoft also now trails behind Facebook, followed by Apple, Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, Twitter, and WhatsApp in that particular order.
The platform rose to prominence last year after the pandemic kicked in, with people stuck at home and looking for entertainment through the TikTok app. In September, it reported more than 1 billion active users per month and even eclipsed Facebook as the world's most downloaded app on mobile devices, including iPhones and Android phones.
Cloudflare said TikTok took the lead for a few days in February, March, and May. However, the service secured the top spot on most days after August 10. "There were some days when Google was #1, but October and November were mostly TikTok's days, including on Thanksgiving (November 25) and Black Friday (November 26)," Cloudflare added.
However, the ranking may not be representative of the entire picture. Cloudflare noted that its "ranking is derived from our public DNS resolver 22.214.171.124 and so it's not related to the number of unique users or visitors it gets per month." This implies that the ranking represents only a portion of the total traffic to these domains.