Apple announced recently that it will team up with Yelp for Apple’s iOS6, to be released this fall. This is a crushing blow to Google, who control a substantial control of the search engine market. Instead of mobile customers using Google search as a default, Siri (Apple’s operating system) will integrate Yelp’s user reviews and turn by turn maps to give local search results that rival that of Google’s. Google is about to get a run for its money.
In January of 2012, Google announced its acquisition of Zagat. Zagat was started by a couple in New York over thirty years ago, and enjoyed about 30 years as a dominant customer review resource. However, as the Internet became more popular and local search review sites began to take over Zagat struggled to keep afloat. With this acquisition, Google now has even more control over the reviews that customers see. Apple is going “thermonuclear” on Google, as the late Bill Gates promised they would.
It is well known that Bill Gates detested Google, because he believed that their success was driven by the popularity of Android. This in combination with Google’s other market dominations is true, but Gates also vehemently accused Google of stealing the idea for Android from the Apple’s iPhone. This motivated Apple to launch a full scale attack on Google.
Right now maps and directions on Siri look a little prehistoric, but that will all change once Apple has the chance to fine tune everything. Also, Yelp’s reviews tend to be a little sloppier than Google’s, so it will be interesting to see what changes are made and how they will affect the user’s experience. If Apple does succeed in capturing a larger segment of the local search engine market, SEO and internet marketing professionals will have to adjust their campaigns to include Apple’s search engine.
For now we will have to wait until the fall to see how everything unfolds. If any company could give Google a run for their money, it’s Apple. Get ready to see this rivalry unfold before our eyes. Regardless of whether Apple does indeed succeed in thwarting Google’s dominance over local searches, the big winners in this rivalry are local search engine users. Finally, some healthy competition to keep our favorite search engines’ priorities in check.