Sometimes it feels as if Apple owns the world. From the ubiquity of iPhones to Apple Watches, Macintosh computers, iPads, and iTunes, there are few brands that are quite as omnipresent and recognizable in today's market as Apple. Because of this, keeping an eye on Apple is a wise strategy to take for your business. But with such a wide array of products and services, mastering Apple can be a bit daunting, which is why Creekmore Marketing is here to tell you everything you need to know about this trendy company and how you can use it to help grow your business. History
When we talk about Apple within the context of Search Engine Optimization, we’re largely talking about Apple’s own web browser, Safari, and its affiliated services. And yet, surprisingly, Safari hasn’t existed for the same amount of time as Apple proper. In fact, until 1997, Apple computers were manufactured to run the browsers Netscape Navigator and Cyberdog. Following that, Apple struck a short-term deal with Windows to package its computers with a version of Internet Explorer designed for Mac. And then, finally, in 2003, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would be creating its very own web browser: Safari. Safari did not see many major changes until the release of the iPhone, which necessitated the development of a mobile version of Safari. Also, in 2008, Apple repaid its bargain to Windows and released Safari for Windows. However, when it stopped allowing Safari to be run on Windows machines in 2012, Safari was no longer able to be run on anything other than Apple machines (which included not just Apple desktops and laptops, but iPhones, iPods, and iPads). The most recent version of Safari, Safari 10, was released alongside macOS Sierra. Percentage of Overall Search Engine Volume
Apple Safari is not, technically, a search engine. Instead, it is much more like the aggregating web browsers of days past, such as the early forms of MSN. But, rather than being at the mercy of whatever search engine that Safari pulls, you can actually designate which search engine you would like to pull results from. This is particularly important when you consider the times and places where Safari is used. For the most part, Safari is not used on desktop machines anymore. Even Mac users tend to download browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox at very high rates. Instead, Safari gets much more traffic from people who use mobile Apple devices, such as iPhones and iPads. This is a massive sector of the population, as iPhones continue to be the most popular cell phone purchased in the Western world. However, as there is not a dedicated Safari search engine, the overall search engine traffic statistics are going to mimic the numbers we already have, with Google coming in at a strong first, following by Bing. Reviews
Part of what makes Apple so powerful for businesses is Apple Maps. This comes pre-installed on most Apple devices and is directly connected to Safari in the same way that Google Maps is connected to Google Chrome. Because of this, if you search for your business on Safari and have an Apple Maps listing, it will be pulled up. Because of this, claiming your listing on Apple Maps is just as important as claiming your listing on Bing Places or Google My Business. Although, as with Bing Places, be aware that there is no way for your customers to leave you reviews directly through Apple Maps and it will instead scrape your most recent reviews from Yelp. With that in mind, always keep an eye on your Yelp presence as it could affect your business in ways you might not expect. Major Algorithm Changes
Because Apple has no dedicated search engine, there can be no changes in its search algorithm. That being said, there have been changes to the setup of Safari that can impact the exposure that your business is getting. While you can define which search engine that Safari pulls from, Apple did announce in 2014 that the default search engine used by Siri, its voice recognition AI system on Apple mobile devices and newer Apple desktops, is Bing. While this can be changed, this is something to keep in mind when crafting your SEO strategy for Apple. Because of this, when dealing with Apple, it is always best to keep all of your bases covered for your business’s online presence. Its Importance for Small Business SEO
Comparing the importance of Apple to a search engine like Google is a bit like comparing apples (haha) and oranges. They are services that do similar but ultimately very different things. While Google may have a monopoly on the internet, Apple has a monopoly on the devices (particularly mobile ones) that access it. Because of this, Apple has its fingers in a lot of pies, and so aside from claiming your listing on Apple Maps, building your presence on Apple largely consists of being consistent across the board. There is a good chance that you are reading this on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer right now, and if you are, that should make the importance of Apple speak for itself.
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