Apple product users everywhere know that when you open Safari and type directly into the search bar, Google is automatically chosen as the search engine. But what if that were no longer the case? It is rumored that Apple may be launching their own search engine in direct competition with their long time partner, Google. Google pays Apple billions of dollars every year to be the default search engine on their devices. So why would Apple want to break away?
With the development of Siri and Spotlight Search, it makes sense for Apple to try and integrate their own search engine into their products. This way, the search engine can be programmed into the product itself and create a more user-friendly experience. This will also lead to Apple applications, products, and services being promoted more heavily. For Apple users this can be beneficial as well, because it will result in more personalized search results with higher levels of privacy. It will be possible for the search engine to use iCloud data and information to return search results directed towards the specific consumer.
Although this rumor has not been confirmed by Apple, there is a lot of evidence to support the creation of this new search engine. The main reason people believe this to be true is that Siri is becoming more advanced and a lot of the time replies with Siri Suggestions using Spotlight Search, rather than with Google. This means that Siri is not using Google to search for what you are asking, but rather has its own search engine. This search engine isn’t currently as advanced as Google, but it could be.
Apple has been hiring more search engineers and has been investing more money into search in general. They have also updated their “Applebot” to a strikingly similar version to Google’s web crawler. Applebot’s job is to ‘run around’ the internet and learn about what is on each web page, so that when someone asks Siri for something like a restaurant review, it can quickly pull that information up for the user. The investment and development of their Applebot is another main reason why it is believed Apple is taking their search engine to another level.
Another theory is that Apple may not launch an entire search engine, but may integrate their own search engine into their products to the point where the user doesn’t even know that they are using it. For example, they could integrate their search engine into Spotlight Search, which it looks like they have already begun to do, so that when users use this feature it avoids using Google all together. This could be a beneficial option for Apple, because they can keep their deal with Google and continue to profit off of them, while hiding their search engine within their products and still reaping many of the benefits as if they launched the entire site.
When we consider SEO and this rumored new search engine, everything should be similar to working with Google. SEO agencies will have to adapt to the new search engine, but it shouldn’t be too far off from what they do every day, today. If anything, there may be new and unique opportunities available for SEOs.
Overall Apple creating its own search engine will only improve user experience for their customers. Being able to integrate their own search engine into their devices and applications will open a lot of opportunities not only for Apple but for app developers. Since Safari is the most widely used mobile web browser in the United States, it is likely that Apple users will embrace the new search engine with open arms and help to quickly launch the engine to a top ranked program. Whether Apple creates some sort of Siri.com, or they just improve their user’s experience by integrating search into their products, they are definitely moving forward in the search engine field.