There are signs that Apple may soon launch a search engine to compete against Google Search
Hello, and thanks for listening to SEO tips today.
SEOs have been noticing increased activity from AppleBot (Apple’s crawler) and in July the company updated information about its crawler as well as published information about its ranking factors. It also seems that Apple search is possibly not using Google (or Bing) anymore for its results.
Here are the details:
In July of this year, Apple updated its search ranking factors in its help documentation. It includes the following:
- Aggregated user engagement with search results
- Relevancy and matching of search terms to webpage topics and content
- Number and quality of links from other pages on the web
- User location-based signals (approximate data)
- Web Page design characteristics
It did not say which factor has more weight in its rankings. And note that Apple is mentioning that it’s watching CTR and pogo-sticking when it ranks items. Apple also uses the content and topic of your pages for ranking, it looks at links, user location, and even the design characteristics of the page.
Back in June, Google was still powering Siri’s web results. At times it was using Bing, But now in Spotlight Search on IoS and IPadOS 14 beta shows up as Siri Suggestions – allowing users to go to sites bypassing Google search. This new move is probably due to European regulatory pressure that would force Apple to use its own search engine.
If you’re curious about Apple’s search focus, Bill Slawski has saved parts of a machine learning job description at Apple – focused on building out its search offering. Bill’s deconstruction of the Apple search patent is definitely worth a read.
So your tip for today is the following – if you’re on a CDN where you have to whitelist your bot IPs and user agents, I would update that for Applebot.
Thanks for listening. Come back tomorrow for another SEO tip.
Listen to the previous episode: Signs that you might need a local SEO plan
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