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Is Apple preparing for an assault on the search landscape?

Is Apple preparing for an assault on the search landscape?

by Ben Wittams-Smith13th November 2014

Reports are emerging from inside sources in Apple that the technology giant is lining up a project for assaulting the search landscape, with the developer Jan Moesen releasing screenshots of web-crawling robots coming from Apple Server’s.

Apple Search

Moesen identified that the robot only appears to be analysing HTML code and “not the CSS, JavaScript or images files” of places it is crawling. Moesen himself queried whether the occurrence was part of an “official Apple Project” or was simply “someone crawling the web from their office space at Apple”.

Whilst nothing has been proven yet, Apple’s track record and the practice of history indicate that this occurrence is evidence of something far more than a negligent apple worker, particularly when you consider that the company has been concentrating on the area of “search” in multiple ways for a long time now. There flagship voice AI, Siri, which is integrated into Apple iPhones, is one such example of how they have unconventionally approached search in order to provide the answers to on-the-go browsers who want some information about facts, figures, reviews or locations.

Back in 2012, Apple brought in William Stasior of Amazon/A9 to assist their efforts in the search landscape. Stasior came with a wealth of experience in this area from his previous role of “director of advanced development” at Amazon where had had already “led the engineering team responsible for developing AltaVista’s next generation search technologies.”  His arrival was seen as a clear signal that Apple was serious about optimising its presence in search, and it appears that a number of their releases over the last year suggest they are succeeding in their advance towards achieving this aim.

Think about it – Apple Maps currently serves as one of the globe’s biggest local search engines. Similarly, the geo-targeting capabilities of Apple Watch put it in a similar category, albeit on a more visible basis.

The wider motives for Apple I believe is to create something specifically with a webcrawler. This might be to enhance the capabilities of Siri, or it could be to try and deliver more precise results for their item users moving forward to the future. I feel this is plausible because I do not believe Apple would try and take on Google directly and try and match them with a high-quality, ultra-precise search engine. Instead they are probably trying to raise their technological knowledge and boost up Siri in order to enhance the user experience of using Apple products in the future.

With Microsoft and Google firmly behind the advancement of their AI programmes, Apple will need to focus more on delivering search facilities at an adequate level if they are to compete in the future, otherwise they will have to fall back on their tried-and-tested branding campaigns in order to deceive consumers that their product is more beneficial to their day-to-day living than superior counterparts.


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About The Author
Ben Wittams-Smith
Ben Wittams-Smith is a content writer for Just SEO and the Company Director of JSEO LTD. As a specialist in SEO, SEM and digital marketing, Ben regularly contributes content and provides analytic insight in these areas.

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