Thursday, October 1, 2015

Liveblog: How Apple’s Changing Up Search: From Siri to Safari to Spotlight #SMX

Liveblog: How Apple’s Changing Up Search: From Siri to Safari to Spotlight #SMX was originally published on, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo step aside because Apple’s changing things up. This insightful SMX session discusses the many ways Apple products have impacted search and what marketers should know and do about it.

Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Founding Editor of Search Engine Land (@dannysullivan)

Speaker: Emily Grossman, Mobile Marketing Specialist, MobileMoxie (@goutaste)

Emily: Marketers Should Ride the Apple Bypass into Engagement Land

Most people at SMX will talk about Google, Bing and Yahoo. But today’s session is about Apple.

Why Apple?

Apple is growing in terms of hardware. TechCrunch reported 3000 iPhone sales a minute. The devices they sell are across the board from laptops to TV devices.  In 2013, Tim Cook said Apple is not a hardware company and that there are many other things that they want to do to grow revenue.

Apple has owned these markets: App Store and Apple Music.

These markets are threatened by YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play and Google Search. Google Search gives information for free in an independent market place. In some ways search has become the ultimate threat to Apple.

Apple created three tools to address this:

Three Apple Tools SMX East

  1. Spotlight: Allows you to search content on your device, web content and other content as Apple introduces it.
  2. Siri: Similar to Spotlight but done through voice command.
  3. Safari: Pulling in suggested results from Apple for a while now (Apple suggested search results in Safari).

Apple wants us to think of these 3 tools collectively as Search.

Mac Users Are Growing and Loyal 

Mac Users are Growing SMX East

The Safari browser has 53% mobile market share because iPhone users are unlikely to change their default browser.

Apple is using its three tools to cut in line, cut out Google and cut out the web.

Apple cuts out Google SMX East

Ride the Apple Bypass into Traffic (or Engagement) Land!

Caveat: Don’t take this as no more Google or no more Seo – we’re not in a situation where Apple is in worldwide market share for search. Don’t abandon your Google SEO.

Cutting in Line

Predictive Search – Apple does a less sophisticated version than Google Now. Apple is predicting search queries and suggesting results before the user even executes the search.

Cutting out Google

Spotlight and Siri default to Bing search over Google search for suggesting search queries.

Siri and Spotlight use Bing, and Twitter is even offered as an alternative search source before Google.

Safari still defaults to Google but provides alternative options.

Cutting out the Web

 Apple is doing this by suggesting maps locations, emails, phone contacts, and especially apps.

We think of search engines as organizers of web content. Apple is trying to suggest as much info as they can outside of the web. Siri suggests contacts, apps, Apple maps first (iOS9).

Suggested specific location: rich results from Apple Maps not Google Maps. They provide directions, aggregation of data screen for a phone number and website. This is powered by Apple Maps Connect. Set up a business with Apple Maps. Choose your categories. Emily thinks the most interesting thing is that Apple publishes information on where they get their local information from.

Make your Apple Maps listings as attractive as possible.

A major way to cut the line is to get a customer to download your V Card.

Email optimization: This is happening now!

  • Put most important keywords in the subject line
  • Earlier in the subject line is better
  • Apple prefers recent emails to older emails
  • Mobile devices can only pull what is stored on the device (less than on a computer)

YouTube videos are dominating in Apple search.

YouTube Optimization Tips

YouTube Optimization tips SMX East

Suggested iTunes content – publishers and content marketers take note! Publish content to iTunes.

Apple’s App Store commission is now at a run-rate of $9 billion! This explains why Apple is looking here. Suggested Apps (App Store Results).

Suggested Apps (Nearby Apps).

Deep App Screen Results: The newest thing in search app indexing in the new iOS 9.

Jump from a search result to a specific page in an app.

Apple is encouraging Deep App Screens in lots of places. You will see this in Apple Maps, in YouTube app, and you can get stacked results:

Yelp Screen SMX East

Apple Search App Indexing

App indexing

Indexed app screens can be public or private/user specific. You could be a messaging app where all content is private and users will only see their messages.

Apple Search sources from two indexes: Device Index (private) and Cloud Index (public)

App Indexing SMX East

App indexing 3 SMX East

To get your website crawled by Apple you can submit your URL.

Known Ranking Factors

Known ranking factors SMX East

Engagement, installs, click-through, structured data on your website.

Apple doesn’t want interstitials in your app – they don’t rank deep app screens as high with interstitials.

The future: You may see the part of a Modern Family episode with Edward Norton.

Who’s it going to be: Apple or Google?

Closed garden or open garden.

Google is pushing HTML5 apps and it’s an experience that feels like an app. Emily feels this is the path of least resistance. The API / feed option is going to be the future (vs. apps). Apps will go up and then go down. The most popular app where you’re spending twice as much time is the browser. The browser is very powerful. She still thinks in the short-term you should have an app so you can take advantage of opportunities that are uniquely available there.

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