On June 10, 2013 Apple announced a stunning change to the iOS architecture. Beginning with the launch of iOS 7 in the Fall of 2013, the default search engine would no longer be Google.
Rather, Apple’s Siri voice assistant will be powered by Bing – a Microsoft product.
Strange bedfellows indeed. After all, it’s not that long ago that Apple and Microsoft were looking for news ways to snipe at one another.
This could go one of two ways, search-wise. Either Google could take a huge hit in terms of search traffic, or Apple could look as stupid as it did when it launched its own mapping application and booted Google Maps from iOS.
The Apple Maps became a laughing stock, leading to CEO Tim Cook to issue a public apology and recommend that people go ahead and download (among other things) Google Maps.
Will this result in a similar backlash, causing people to completely lose their composure and rebel against Apple?
Somehow, I don’t think so. You’ll still be able to use Google from the browser, and you’ll be free to download Chrome to your iDevice. You can even use Google Now on the iDevices, and that’s never going to use a search engine other than Google.
More to the point, most people don’t change the default settings. They don’t care to do so, and don’t know how to do it anyway.
Just witness the number of people who never set the clocks on the VCR in their home.
Or explain why so many people continue to use Internet Explorer as their browser of choice – and why most of them refer to it as, “the Internet,” rather than by the name of the product.
For those of us who are looking to connect with potential clients, the change may prove to be monumental.
Mobile traffic is exploding, and some of the most active mobile searchers (people who use iOS devices are online far longer each day than those who own Android or other devices) are going to be using Bing rather than Google to find answers to their questions.
If we want to garner more attention and get in front of more people who access the web from a mobile platform, it may well be time to revisit the idea of optimizing our sites for Bing.