Do you know the saying “To Google for something”? Well, we may change it into “To Apple for something” in the near future. Rumor has it that the Cupertino giant is planning to enter the search engine industry with its own technology to index, track and reveal queries for users in a better manner as an alternative to what Google has to offer.
According to Financial Times and Forbes, Apple is already in the development phase with this service and features like increased user privacy and no user data storage may be starring in what it promises to demolish the almighty Google search engine.
In this article, we will talk about the existing problems and bonuses of Google search engine, why an Apple similar service could be great news, and whether or not an Apple search engine is a granted success.
#1 Google search engine – is it so good? Or we just got used to it?
As you already know, Google is not the only search engine on the market. There is also Bing from Microsoft, Yahoo!, and the Eastern European region, especially Russians are using Yandex. Not to mention Baidu, which is China’s top search engine.
Among all the above-mentioned, Google is a legend, and innovating something new for a search engine proved to be difficult for other tech giants. Bing and Yahoo! integrated the search engine feature with other services, and didn’t focus on how exclusive it works and looks like. Yandex on the other hand has indexing issues, bugs with ranking and, it already gained a huge market where it dominates – so it doesn’t pretend to the world-leader position. Baidu was initially created and designed for Chinese users, but some others were using it to find information about Chinese products and services as well. Now with the privacy issue – the Chinese search engine was banned in the US.
So, out of all options, we have now Google – the most popular search engine, with its own advantages and disadvantages. By storing browsing data, Google can target you further with ads. Integrated G-services like Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, Play, Maps, and others – they all contain ads even if some are not so visible, while in other places – you are effectively forced not to miss them, just like YouTube. Search for something on Google – first several positions are ads. Using Google Docs or Google Sheets – you are suggested to use other Google services as well. Download an app from Play Store – here we come with “recommendations”. Like we mentioned earlier, in most cases, your data as a user are stored, purchased, and used to be targeted by just another ad.
On the other hand, there are hundreds of thousands of businesses, even millions that rely on these services Google has to offer. In other words, the coffee shop in the neighborhood possibly would close soon, if targeting you was not an option today. The hotel you visited two weeks ago could have been closed as well. Many businesses, especially SMEs are depending on such services from search engines. And even though we all acknowledge that our data is being used for such purposes. The big winner in such cases is not Coffee Shops, and Hotels – but search engines.
#2 Apple Search Engine – User improvements? Or just a marketing competition?
Apple is extremely secretive about new technologies, updates, and, upcoming features. But the history with the search engines goes down to the time when Apple only start posting job opportunities in the search engine field. The result, probably is what iOS 14 revealed: typing a query from the device home screen would not use Google services, as usual, but it generates its own search results, with autocomplete features. This means that Apple is already testing its services for search engines, and sooner rather than later, we could see a Google alternative.
However, in order to compete with Google’s search engine, Apple has to provide better alternatives, improved usability, and that feeling of premium service. So far, there are almost no details on what the Apple search engine could work and look like, so all we can do is deductions and assumptions based on the brand identity and trends with the products or services.
Additionally, the new search engine should also support businesses with the possibility to promote and increase their visibility. But at the same time, more user privacy is needed. Another news should be the search engine optimization algorithms and the way they work since SEO is an entire science based on data but also estimations and creativity.
The real intention of launching a search engine or not puts Apple in front of a tough decision: to keep its relationship with Google, or directly compete with it, including on this segment. Right now, Google pays each year billions of dollars to Apple only to use its search engine, so on top of all, it is also about the money.
#3 Will Apple Search Engine Be a Granted Success?
To answer this question, there are several options we think the Cupertino giant takes into consideration. The search engine could be available exclusively to Apple users. This means that the biggest impact will be on sales, and only if the search engine proves to be worthy of the brand’s name. Probably, the iOS 14 feature is a beta test for the search engine, which seeks an answer to this question.
On the other hand, if the tool will be available for all devices and all over the world, could also increase the sales and the company’s image in other countries, making a decisive move in the iOS vs Android battle.
This way or another, Apple is the only company that could handle such a project and makes a good battle with Google in this field. One of the best things that could happen to businesses that use ads on search engines – services will be cheaper since there is competition on the way. Also, competition pushes innovation and we might see some revolutionary changes in what search engines are.
There is one thing that makes everything more interesting. It’s been a while now since Google is the dominant search engine, and in this long timeframe we don’t think Google didn’t see this move coming.
So there must be a decent reply to this move. Now, going back to the initial question – Google must be asking themselves one more time how should a search engine look in the 21st century?