Apple, the Apple giant, is developing its own search engine to take on the world’s most widely used search engine, Google. 

Apple’s new search engine will be an alternative to Google’s search engine. The Californian company has its own indexer, the Applebot. A search bot that Apple uses to compile extensive databases of material on the internet, similar to what Google uses for its search engine.

In recent years, the Applebot has become increasingly active, according to several industry experts. One of the most frequent uses of this bot is to create a copy of all visited web pages for further processing by a search engine.

Apple’s new search engine: an alternative to Google

According to an article in the Financial Times, the tech firm hired a former Google engineer and has been developing Applebot, its database search bot. 

Apple hired Google search chief John Giannandrea to improve AI capabilities and its Siri virtual assistant, but also brought eight years of experience running Google’s search engine.

Another rumour confirming that Apple is working on a new search engine is that in the latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 14, Apple has begun displaying its own search results and links directly to websites when users type queries from their home screen.

Rumours and more rumours

In June 2020, Apple also updated its help page on the Applebot, which reported that some new features had been added to the bot that were already available in Googlebot. 

  • Option to verify traffic from Applebot.
  • Development of the Applebot for both desktop and mobile.
  • The Applebot is not only able to read HTML code, but it also renders pages.
  • It provides information on search rankings and factors that have an impact on ranking.

In addition, Stack Overflow engineer Nick Craver and digital marketing consultant Michael James have also noticed Applebot spikes over the past few days on websites they monitor.

Apple updated Applebot’s support documentation in July with new details, including:

  • Added how to verify traffic from Applebot.
  • Applebot agent details have been expanded, including different desktop and mobile versions.
  • Increased the robots.txt rules.
  • Added a section specifying that they don’t just crawl HTML, but also render pages similar to Google.
  • Added a section on search rankings and the factors that affect how web search results are ranked.
  • Other features of Apple’s new search engine
  • To make search results more useful to users, the data processing systems that return search results will sort or rank the results based on a ranking or score that causes the list to display the items in a certain order.
  • The score of an item that is used to rank the items in the search results may be based on an influence score of a domain that provides the item, and each item in the results may have an influence score that is used to rank or sort the item within the search results.

What will happen to SEO?

If Apple launches its own search engine and is able to capture a relevant volume of users, this would force SEO experts to adapt and optimise their strategies based on the Applebot. 

If we take into account the documentation published by the company for the time being, the tactics to be applied will remain very similar to those that currently have to be applied in order to rank in Google.


Jannik Romeu es Consultor de Marketing en Somos Sinapsis. Hace poco tiempo que descubrió el mundo online, pero cada vez se siente más atraído por esta área tan extensa por explorar. Al pertenecer a la generación Z, se caracteriza por ser multitasking y por pasar la mayor parte de su día frente a la pantalla (algo muy normal entre los jóvenes). En definitiva, ha encontrado un lugar donde poder encajar y crecer profesionalmente.