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Monday, July 01, 2013

Would Apple be the Dominant Search Engine of the Next Decade Not Google?

Monday, July 01, 2013
Image Courtesy: Infoproc.Blogspot
We have seen the rise and fall of many search engines in the last two decade. We have also seen how the co-founders of Google smartly eliminated other search engines to establish their market. Its no wonder how they envisioned to capitalize the search industry to proclaim Google as a verb in the Oxford dictionary. 

There are a few, really a few who are still struggling to be at par with Google with no luck so far. Microsoft is one among a few which is still paining with Bi(n)g Bang model while Marissa Mayer has been roped in to give a new lease of hope to Yahoo! 

Google has been resilient to all their rivals' moves so far but the recent wedding between Apple and Bing may enhance the worry of biggies sitting at Googleplex. I clearly perceive this 'tie-up' as a game changer to create a 'collaborative force' that may put an the end to the Golden era of Google search.  

The Apple’s decision to marry Bing is to make full use of Siri to conduct searches on Wikipedia, Twitter, or exploring other options which were not possible to run through Google.

This is one side of the story that Apple narrates but the fact is that Google is no longer an Apple’s eye since the day the search engine has entered into device market.

The million dollar question is not about if Apple’s decision to tie up with Bing will give a good search experience but about the impact of Apple’s entry into search market on Google’s monopolistic search engine. Would Apple be able to break the monopoly of Google in search market? Would Google be able to break the monopoly of Apple in device market? 

Forrester Report “How Consumers Found Websites In 2012” has surprised all of us with its summary that: Apple, not Google, will be the dominant search engine of the next decade. This looks like that Forrester predicts that Apple would possibly break the monopoly of Google in search engine mark.

It’s being observed that the volume of search is increasing on mobile devices day by day. Apple, being one of the dominant players in device market, has its competitive advantage while Windows and Android phones are not even near to this.  As customization becomes inevitable, Apple will have an edge over Google in understanding the users’/searchers’ intent.     

Indeed, the future of search market share depends on device market share + users’ experience.  

Would Apple be able to break the monopoly of Google in search market?

Image Courtesy: One Click Root
Despite the fact that the future of search market share depends on device market share, Apple’s lonely effort to create their own search engine for device may not spell a magic to defeat Google in search market, at least for half a decade.  Only collaborative forces may shake the mighty search engine.

A while ago, Apple endeavored to engineer their search engine –‘iSearch’ for iPhones. However, most of the developers working on this project left the company to kiss Yahoo. Thanks to Marissa Mayer who took a bite of Apple in a hope of getting consent for Yahoo search integration with Apple products. Truly said, if wishes were horses, Yahoo would have been chooser! It’s not a mystery now as why Apple chose Bing for its default search partner to leave a self-loathing, and sulking Marissa. Bing will surely gain advantage unless Apple’s own search engine picks among users, which I don’t see it happen at least for 5 years down the line.

Not sure how Apple users react to this knot in the months to go by. It all depends on how Bing delivers quality search results on iPhone, iPad, and iPad touch. So far, Bing has not impressed so much with its quality search results. It would be interesting to see if Bing matches with the standard of Apple in satisfying their appetite for quality with the first bite!  

Already seeing lots of reactions from iPhone users expressing their agony across social media against the new partnership! However, it’s a herculean task both for Apple and Microsoft to change the trends all in their favor. If succeeded then it may hurt Google, at least in a few countries like the United States where iPhone users outnumber Android users. On the flip side, if failed, Google may even become bigger both in search, and device until the collaborative forces come into being to defeat the giant.  

Image Courtesy: idoanloadblog

Apple’s association with Baidu in China has already done damage to Google. A further loss in US search market would aggravate the loss for the search engine. Hence, a downfall of monopolistic search regime can be predicted with ifs and buts.


Undoubtedly, device market determines the future search share. Apple tops the list in the US. Whether Apple may become a dominant search engine or not, it all depends on delivering quality search results in association with Bing. Historically, Bing has not impressed users but the “collaborative forces” may give a tough fight for Google in coming days.   


The US is a matured digital economy. A stagnant or flat growth followed by an increase in search share by Bing is a reason for Google to be fret over. Google’s mobile search share peaked at 95%, and then declined to 84%.

Google’s weakness in mobile search is due to the fact that the search engine gained its success last decade due to ‘search first, device latter’ business model while the trend is just going opposite –‘device first, search latter’.


Since mobile searches now account for 20% to 40% of total search volume on the Internet, this is a positive indicator that Google isn’t as invincible as it used to be, despite the dominance of its Android operating system outside the US.


I believe, it’s not just Apple, or Bing alone that can give Google a tough fight but the collaborative forces if joined together such as Facebook, Apple, Bing, Yahoo, etc. may end the monopolistic market of the search engine. The recent Apple-Bing marriage is a first step to build ‘collaborative force’.   

What happens if Google’s monopoly as search engine goes?

It brings whole lot of transformation in digital marketing. Business models too dependent on Google may possibly get severe hit. The growth of m-commerce, m-marketing, and m-sales could possibly replace search engine marketing. We’d see a phenomenal growth of device based marketing which would be more personalized, more connected, and more engaged. In fact, real time marketing is becoming the holy grail of internet marketing in a fast growing device economy. Unless Google gets too fast to increase device share, the collaborative forces may become strong enough to put an end to the Golden era of Google search!

@Google, roll up your sleeve to move fast, after all speed matters! :) 


  1. Like Apple's Maps has done to Google Maps? Or how Apple's Safari has done to Chrome?



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