webIt seems that Apple are never far away from a rumour, many of which fall way off the mark. So what should we make of the grapevines’ latest tid-bit? The California-based tech giant is thought to be developing its own search engine.

It’s clear to see why these rumours are circling. Last week, Apple chiefs announced the rumoured AppleBot does exist. They didn’t say what it will do, but it doesn’t need a tech genius to work it out.

The iPhone maker is already in direct competition with Google in the iOS v Android wars, a battle the former is arguably winning on quality despite Google offering the best value for money.

If Apple were to launch their own search engine then, it will be interesting to see whether the company can produce better results than the current crop – and let’s face it, Google are not exactly doing the best job right now, but are the best we have!

£200 million spotlight

In 2013, Apple acquired the social search and analytics firm, Topsy for US$200. It was not certain the tech firm wanted with a search firm initially, but the release of OS X Yosemite turned the page on Apple’s plans.

OS X Yosemite is a powerful desktop server with built-in apps and the ability to sync with the firm’s iOS devices. But more than that, it pulls data from browsers into its Spotlight Suggestions feature and drives search results with Safari.

AppleBot may not be as developed as the GoogleBots just yet, but iOS and Mac devices have a default mechanism that searches the Google web if AppleBot does not produce results.

The inclination for marketers is that online businesses will have another search engine to cater for, and the concern is that Apple’s approach may be different from Google’s.

If this is the case, websites would require further developments so platforms are compliant for both web crawlers. Alternatively, online business owners may have to decide which search engine they are likely to perform on better. The words ‘can’ and ‘worms’ spring to mind.

For the time being, Apple has not given any indication when (or if) AppleBot will become a fully-developed web crawler, but now the company has confirmed it does exist, the next logical step is to make use of it. Hold on to your SEO hats, we could be in for a bumpy ride!