While rumours of Apple launching its own search engine have been doing the rounds, increasing evidence has made many users and experts believe that Apple will soon launch a search engine.
The strongest factor behind this assumption is the UK Regulatory Authority’s criticism of Google paying Apple billions to be the default search engine on Apple’s Safari. According to a report released recently, the UK markets regulator stated that this deal between Alphabet and Apple creates “a significant barrier to entry and expansion” and is anti-competitive.
Apart from regulatory and trust concerns of Google, Apple might be aiming to launch its own search engine as Siri and iCloud have now reached maturation and new innovations are important for the company to relevant. Being one of the most valuable companies in the world, Apple has enough monetary resources to enter the search engine game. Rumours also began when Apple’s job listings for search engineers were revealed.
One of the strongest indicators of Apple creating their search engine is how iOS and iPadOS 14 beta has been bypassing Google’s search engine. Through Siri, Bing is a default browser but now overall there is more emphasis on Apple’s Spotlight Search. Similar to Quicksilver, Apple’s Spotlight Search is created for quicker searches through the web and locally, as it works with just a swipe on the iOS. While in iOS 13, the searches would lead to Google’s search engine, iOS 14 onwards Spotlight Search directly takes you to the material you search for. This also creates concern for Google’s SEO functions.
By eliminating Google’s search engine, Apple poses a threat to Google’s advertisements, search results, and Youtube. While Google Search and Google Ads seem unaffected as of now, the launch of a search engine from Apple is a cause of concern for Google.
Lastly, Apple has been crawling sites and has updated Applebot. The latest updates made to Applebot are those similar to Google webmasters and SEOs. Now through Applebot, traffic can be verified, check search ranking and factors effecting it, and expanded user details.
Much anticipation surrounds how Apple’s search engine would work, considering Apple’s preparations for it, and how it would effect Google. Earlier this year, the UK regulatory authority claimed that Apple received a “substantial majority” of the 1.5 Billion dollars Google pays to be the default search engine for devices.
“Given the impact of pre-installations 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”, stated the report.
In order to reduce monopoly, the regulators said that Safari should have multiple options for search engines to be used. Some of Google’s search engines competitors are Microsoft’s Bing, Verizon’s Yahoo, and standalone search engine DuckDuckGo, all of which pay to be search engine options on Apple devices.
Not only will an in house search engine from Apple cause significant damage to Google, but also to all other search engine options on its devices. Through their search engine, Apple can push in house apps and services, protect the Apple ecosystem, and have a stronger hold in the SEO and SERP market.