There has been speculation for a while now around whether or not Apple is planning to launch its own search engine to rival the mighty Google. This was recently heightened when a number of hints were highlighted by Coywolf News, that indicate it could be coming sooner than we thought…
As well as recruiting ‘search engineers’, It seems that Applebot, Apple’s own web crawler, has upped its activity in recent months, even adding major updates to its support page.
It is well known that Google currently pay Apple billions of dollars to be the default search engine across all devices on its Safari web browser… this has sparked criticism in the digital world around the barriers this creates for other competitors. Although the likes of Bing and Yahoo also pay to be an ‘option’ when users actively look to change their search engine preference, this won’t come close to the amount of people sticking with the Google default.
The UK Competitions & Markets Authority have said the following:
“Given the impact of preinstallations and defaults on mobile devices and Apple’s significant market share, it is our view that Apple’s existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles”
As of July 2020 this is now in the legislators hands – it’s likely that soon enough, Apple may be forced to allow users the option when it comes to their default search engine, or there will be restrictions when it comes to “Apple’s ability to monetise default positions”.
If this is the case, what better time for Apple to launch its own search engine offering and not have to rely on these deals?
What would this mean for SEO?
Given that Google has a 91.54% share of the market, it’s no wonder the SEO industry is currently centred around the search giant.
But adding Apple into the mix could be a game changer. If it became the default search engine on its own devices, it could very easily gain traction and a significant proportion of the market share.
This would mean SEO professionals would need to learn what makes Apple tick, and adapt strategies to suit. Would their algorithm vary drastically to Google’s? Would the same search principles apply? Could it bring new opportunities for businesses? Or ultimately, can nothing realistically come close to Google?
Of course we don’t know what Apple has up its sleeve – it’s all speculation and guess work at the moment, but it would certainly be an interesting shake up for the digital marketing industry.