Apple is coming out with a Search Engine

Apple Search EngineApple is most probably developing its own search engine. It has already admitted to have a search bot crawling around Internet. It uses rules set to Googlebot in robots.txt but shows up as itself in log files.

Previously it was told that the bot was for Siri and Spotlight. Spotlight searches for material in Mac computer and Siri from iOS devices (iPhone, iPad..) by voice commands.

However, Siri has searched information from the Internet for some time now. Spotlight has been developed by a team which came in to Apple with the purchase of Topsy in 2013.

Basically there are three different options how this is going to roll out.

  1. Apple will launch ”regular” Spotlight search engine useable to all
  2. Apple leaves Spotlight for Mac/iOS users
  3. Apple revolutionizes the whole search engine industry with something new

Which one is your favourite?

I believe it will be a combination of the three. Topsy is known for analytical partner for Twitter. If Google once leaped forward implementing link juice, Apple may very well replicate the move implementing semantic dimension or expand the search into information stored in apps.

Changes in default search engine settings rule a drop into Google’s market share

Changes in default search engine settings rule a drop into Google's market share Klikkaa ja Twiittaa

When you type into browser’s address bar something that is not an web address, the browser passes you on a search engine set to default in the browser’s preferences. The browser tells the search engine what you were looking for and you end up straight to the results page. A year ago it meant, for the majority, Google.

In November 2014, however, the collaborative contract between Firefox and Google came to an end in US. That dropped Google’s market share down to 65% for the first time in years. The deal with Google and Apple is due sometime this year. Previously Google’s replacement as a default engine for Safari (both Mac and iOS) was supposed to be Yahoo or Bing, but given the rumours over Spotlight, nothing is yet set to stone.

According to a study, 75% of Google’s mobile revenue comes from Apple devices. Undoubtly Google is not going to let this happen without resistance. Especially when mobile SEM is going to turn over desktop number any minute now.

75% of Google's mobile revenue comes from Apple devices Klikkaa ja Twiittaa

Here in Europe Firefox is still bound with Google. If nothing else, the EU court skirmish will drop Google’s market share under 90% in Europe, too. Even EU probably can’t touch Chrome’s default search engine.

Most of the users will not see any difference unless some search engine finds a totally new way of laying out the results page. If people are forced to choose a default search engine, they most probably still choose Google.

What does this mean to you and me

For a marketer this means fragmentation of SEM money. Currently in Finland, a staggering 97% of Internet users are reached with a single advertisement channel. Adjoined with new social media platforms, advertisers need to re-write their playbook.

Changes in the world of search engines will also affect on search engine optimization. Currently most of the SEO wizards try to out-guess each others in which direction Google is changing its algorithms. In the future, there may very well be other engine’s algorithms to guess, too.


The post was originally written to Super Analytics blog.