Is Apple Creating Its Own Search Engine?

If you own any Apple devices, you’re probably familiar with Safari, the default web browser found on iPhones and iPads. While Safari is supported by Apple, it actually uses Google to conduct searches. In fact, Google reportedly pays billions of dollars to the tech giant for the privilege of being the default web browser on its devices.

In recent years, there have been questions about whether this is a fair practice, which could impact Google’s standing with Apple. Additionally, there have been ongoing projections that Apple is currently developing its very own proprietary search engine that would take the place of Google on its devices. Here are a few of the signs indicating that that Apple may be ready to take the plunge.

Changes to the Applebot Web Crawler Page

Applebot is a web crawler developed by the company for use with Siri and Spotlight Suggestions. Recent changes to the web crawler’s support page include information on search rankings and the factors used, instructions on verifying traffic from Applebot, an expansion of robots.txt rules, and many other pieces of information. While this might not seem like very compelling evidence that search engine development is underway, consider that the updated information is very similar to what Google provides regarding its own search engine.

Increased Calls for Search Engineers

While Apple hasn’t made any statements on whether they’re working on a search engine, their recent job postings paint a different picture. In recent months, the company has posted job ads seeking candidates with a background in search. The content of the ads is also interesting, as many mention things like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing, all of which are key concepts for developing search engine technology.

Updates to Spotlight Search

New versions of iOS also seem to be taking Google out of the equation. When using Spotlight Search in iOS and iPadOS 14, users are no longer directed to Safari and presented search results from Google. Instead, users are presented search results directly, and can go to those pages and sites without ever seeing any results from Google. While iOS 14 is still in its beta testing phase, many expect the technology will soon migrate to other Apple devices.

Here at, we understand the importance of search engines when customers are looking for local goods and services. For your business to be truly successful, it must meet the criteria set forth by all search engines, including any new developments on the horizon.

We anticipate changes on the digital landscape and ensure our clients are fully versed in what those changes mean to them. Feel free to contact us today if you have questions about your current content strategy and ways that it may be improved.