Why analysts believe Apple wants in on search

Posted on August 28, 2020

 

A few months ago, an AllianceBerstein research analyst suggested that Apple might want to enter the search engine market, either by buying out a smaller existing search company like DuckDuckGo or starting one of its own. Now, a new report has identified a number of factors that point towards the latter option.

Technology news website Coywolf makes the convincing argument that Apple can manage without the reported billions of dollars Google pays to be the default iOS search engine. The agreement’s days may be numbered, especially since the UK Competition and Markets Authority, for one, has expressed its unease about the deal due to the barriers it puts in front of any competitors.

Coywolf goes on to note that Apple is currently advertising hundreds of positions for search engineers, and draws attention to the efforts the company is putting into web crawling. Additionally, there is some doubt over whether Apple’s virtual assistant Siri is even using Google or Bing anymore, with evidence showing that it is returning many results via its own desktop search tool, Spotlight.

At present, Google is comfortably holding off challenges from Yahoo! (which infamously had the chance to buy Google for just $1m in 1998), and Microsoft (which, being Microsoft, has never really nailed search with Bing). Meanwhile, smaller search engines like DuckDuckGo and Ecosia continue to grow, but not at a speed that will cause Google any concern.

With Google so dominant in the search sector, it may need a competitor with the financial muscle of Apple to cause any sort of shake-up – especially if it means that iPhones, Macs and iPads all default to an Apple-owned search engine rather than Google.

Due to its current dominance, we focus on Google here at Engage Web, but there may come a day when we report on Apple search rankings for our clients. No doubt the key to ranking success will remain an excellent website with regular high-quality content, so speak to us for advice on both.

John Murray

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