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iOS 8 Brings Bing Spotlight to iPhone

By In SEO On December 3, 2014

IOS 8 Spotlight uses Bing for search

Apple has announced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus at last, and many of the rumors were proven to be accurate. The new smartphones benefit from Near Field Communications (NFC) and larger screens, and that screen space will be used for a slew of new search features that could change the way consumers search the web.

New Search Focus

In iOS 8, the search dialog box will be enhanced with web search results from Bing, making it more than a ‘search my phone’ feature.

From next week, when you search an iOS device, there will be a From the Web section showing the top few matches for the query. This feature is only available in iOS 8, and it can be disabled in Spotlight settings if you feel it’s draining your data allowance.

Apple is also adding a new search engine, DuckDuckGo, for the privacy-conscious. DuckDuckGo is fast rising in popularity because it does not use tracking cookies. iOS 8 users will be able to select DuckDuckGo as the default search engine in Safari.

Overall, it looks like Apple is making a deliberate attempt to disconnect us from Google.

iPhone Info on Google

While Apple seems to be side-lining Google by selecting Bing for Spotlight, Google is keen to capture iPhone-related traffic.

If you search for Apple’s new phones (or its Watch), you get detailed specs about the products in the Knowledge Graph box.

Often, Google automatically pulls excerpts from search results to populate Knowledge Graph. On this occasion, Google has created the content itself, with Apple confirming the exact details with them.

What It Means

With iOS 8 changing the way people search, marketers are going to need to pay more attention to the way alternative search providers are indexing their sites. If you only optimize to please Google, now’s a good time to review your strategy and prepare for an influx of traffic from Bing.

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