Apple Spotlight, What is it? And What Does it Mean for Google?

Google’s domination of the search engine market is an all-encompassing one, even with direct competitors such as Bing, Yahoo and Baidu, Google is directly responsible for over 70% of all global desktop search traffic and with nearly 93% of all web traffic coming through the medium of search engines, they hold a prevalent stake on the worldwide online market. There have been a plethora of challengers to Google’s search engine throne but due to their locale or niche specific natures haven’t managed to amass the following required to pose a threat, this changes with Apple’s entry into the market. Read on to find out about Apple Spotlight and ripples it may create in the search engine world.

What is Apple Spotlight?

An image of several apple devices

Spotlight serves as one of the integrated applications within the Mac OS and IOS operating systems and was first released in April 2005, you may find yourself wondering why now, over 15 years after its inception has only just begun to act as a direct competitor. The answer to that question lies directly in the nature of the application. Induced as a file/device search its role as an internal search engine didn’t pose an issue to Google since it lacked any online elements preventing encroachment on the market Google had captured. As many analysist at Google likely predicted, Spotlight has introduced more online search results with subsequent updates now presenting an array of Google-like images, query resolutions and general information you would be expectant of finding within a search engine.

How is Google Combating This?

As the current market leader Google is likely very aware of its current predicament and by looking at news from yesteryear, we can gauge this has been thus for a while. Over the past few years Google has been bidding billions in order to retain its role as the primary search engine on Apple devices with the figure set to rise to $15 billion in 2021 with investors stating payments could approach $18 – $20 billion by 2022. The current Safari browser market share in the UK is at 33.16% which would be a sizable chunk of the market to lose if Google decided it did not wish to continue with its multi-billion dollar yearly payments, at the very least they have the satisfaction of knowing they pay one of the most expensive yearly subscriptions on the planet.

An image of a laptop on google

The deciding factor behind many verdicts will lie in the search engine’s ease of access and with Apple’s conglomerate being built off of its unmatched simplicity it’s highly unlikely that device users would look to an external source when considering which search engine to employ. However, the aforementioned yearly subscription that Google pays seems to mitigate Apple’s advancements into the search engine market and as long as Google are willing to pay, and Apple are willing to be paid Spotlight will not become a direct competitor to Google search.

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