Apple Makes Change for Siri and Spotlight Search
Apple is switching the search engine behind Siri and Spotlight for its mobile devices and computers: Bing is out and Google is in.
Web searches from Siri, the search bar in iOS (formerly called Spotlight) and Spotlight on Macs will all now be powered by Google.
The change first went live yesterday and should be rolled out globally today.
So if you ask Siri about the French Revolution, for example, her answer will now come from Google’s search API:
The same goes for Spotlight on a Mac:
What’s the point behind the change?
Well, that depends on who you ask.
For Apple, the switch is mostly about consistency in the user experience. Safari on both Mac and iOS both use Google as the default search engine (something that Google has paid a whole bunch of money for), so it makes sense that Apple wants to align those two features.
For Google, this is another channel to bring traffic to its advertising platform. While clicking on a result in Siri will take you directly to the page, there will be a link to "Show Google result" which will show a SERP with ads. Plus, any video result will link directly to YouTube and all the advertising that entails.
All searches performed by Siri will remain encrypted, so Google won’t know who did the search. However, once you click to the results page, or to YouTube, standard Google tracking will apply.
What Does This Mean for Your SEO?
To be honest, this probably doesn’t mean much will change for you the way to you do SEO. Unless, of course, you have been neglecting mobile friendliness and facets of semantic SEO to appeal to voice search. If that’s the case for you, this change should serve to underscore the importance of optimizing your website for mobile users, and your content for semantic search.
If you already prioritize mobile friendliness and semantic-friendly content for Google, this change will help increase traffic to your pages via that channel.
A quick note: Image searches on Siri will continue to be powered by Bing.