5 Experts Weigh in on Apple’s Spotlight Search Integration of Google Maps

Posted by Amber Kazalbash on Mar 31, 2016 1:39:03 PM

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Google Maps, Apple Spotlight Search, iOS
Image via Search Engine Land

The mobile ecosystem is constantly becoming more interconnected and integrated into the every-day life of customers. ComScore reports that mobile consumes 2 out of every 3 digital media minutes in the us. Whether it be for Android or iOS proponents, the fact of the matter is that these integrations are working to provide more value, seamless local search and improved user experience for any and every connected customer.   

This week, news broke about Google Maps for iOS integrating with Apple’s Spotlight Search. While this doesn’t indicate a drastic change on a high level for iOS users quite yet, it does highlight the increasing indispensability of Spotlight Search and locations of brands that will get featured as a result. We asked five industry experts about their thoughts on this development:

Gregg Stewart
"I find it curious that with the success of Apple Maps and the fact that it is estimated to be 3 times more popular than Google Maps on iOS devices that Apple would give Google access to their Spotlight Search.  My only thought is, Apple has always focused on user experience first and foremost. Therefore Apple must be creating the integration based on what they believe users find important. “ [TWEET THIS]
-Gregg Stewart, President, 15 Miles

Edgar Estrada

"From an SEO perspective, if Google is able to log this Spotlight Search data, such as quantity/frequency a location is 'bookmarked' in an iOS device Spotlight Search, then I can potentially see Google using this as an additional data point to asses a locations prominence. Much like an 'inbound link' from an external site is seen an upvote of credibility to your website, I can see this 'Saved Places' as an underlying strategic way for Google to gather additional data about locations prominence or social proof." [TWEET THIS]
-Edgar Estrada, Sr. SEO Analyst, Brandify

Asif Khan

The integration of Google Maps saved places and searches brings new value to iOS users of Apple’s Spotlight Search feature.  Being able to quickly access the listing information such as phone number, address and directions for places you’ve recently queried will make Spotlight a go to part of the regular iOS user experience and further reinforces the importance of location and place data for the everyday consumer." [TWEET THIS]
-Asif Khan, Founder & President, The LBMA

Steve Wiideman

“It's not surprising that Google took the time to add Spotlight Search during their last build. After all, Apple did release relatively simple documentation to guide developers through the process. The effort obviously fit in the Google Maps Team's road map and made sense, since no search engine wants to be known for not being searchable. Google has been a proponent of in-app search and app indexing with Android devices, so it makes sense to make their app searchable on widely used devices such as the iPhone.” [TWEET THIS]
-Steve Wiideman, President, Wiideman Consulting Group

Damian Rollison
“There's good reason to suspect that Google is experimenting with Spotlight Search as a way to embed itself more deeply into the iPhone user experience, where Apple Maps is currently the iOS default. Apple may see this as a competitive move and seek to restrict Google's access in some way, or they may allow Google to compete to the point where Google Maps becomes an optional default, something like giving the desktop user a choice between default browsers. The move suggests that deep linking and federated search are becoming somewhat more prominent in the mobile ecosystem.” [TWEET THIS]
-Damian Rollison, Director of Product, Brandify


Overall, it’s safe to say that each of these industry experts are in agreement that this development is a strategic move for both Google and Apple in enhancing the user experience and eventually tracking mobile user attribution. Mobile and location go hand in hand when it comes to brand personalization and developing user value. It’s time that brand managers start to consider how to move past mobile optimization and move deep into focusing on the intent of their constantly-connected customers.

With Brandify Mobile, brands with their own branded apps will be supported in gaining visibility through iOS’ Spotlight Search feature, and will also have the ability to drive location data to get found by users on both Apple and Google’s user interfaces. You can experience Brandify Mobile today by first downloading the Brandify App:

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