Is Apple the next big player to enter the online search engine market?

August 10, 2009

by Mark Ollig

Safari is the name of the web browser I occasionally use when my Firefox is acting up or seems to be crashing too many times.

Apple is the developer of Safari.

So, what seems to be missing from the Apple arsenal and what goes with a web browser these days like peanut butter goes with jelly?

If you guessed a search engine, you are so correct.

We all know Google has a nice little search engine and that is also recently came out with its Google Chrome web browser.

The rumors are running wild out on the blogs about Apple developing their very own search engine to go along with their Safari web browser.

I feel any of the Apple computer users out there would no doubt leave Google or any other search engine in a second to use an Apple search engine.

If there is a new “Apple Search,” the migration to it would be a natural. Lt’s not forget there are millions of iPod and iPhone users out there who would have a new app to download too.

Even some of us Window users have used the Safari web browser occasionally.

Did you notice Apple’s Safari web browser has the Google search engine link in it?

I found out Google pays Apple some big bucks to have them embed their search engine in Safari, so I wonder what will become of this arrangement if Apple launches their own search engine and would want (I assume) to embed it into their Safari web browser.

We need to remember that Google has now created their own web browser (Google Chrome) so I imagine Apple might have some grounds to try to get out of any contractual agreement with Google on that basis.

Last week, on the fifth of August, Firefox, which is owned by Mozilla Foundation, sent out an updated software version 3.5.2 of this web browser, which I am now using.

What I found strange is that Firefox has been frequently releasing updates of this software . . . and for good reason . . . it crashes too often. I had thought it was just possibly something in my computer’s register that was causing the crashes – which I can tell you is very frustrating when a person is online – but I learned others using Firefox were also having crashes. I would read about these Firefox crashes on Twitter and some of the social networking sites I visit.

This is when I started to use Apple’s Safari web browser more. I had already been using Safari on my iPod and so I thought why not try it on my laptop? I found it is a reliable web browser without all the bells and whistles.

Let’s not forget Apple knows a lot about computer operating systems (OS), too. I feel they have the right technological resources and strategy and would do very well in the search engine business.

You may have heard about the merging of Yahoo and Microsoft’s new search engine called Bing (which I wrote a column about recently). Bing is what was formerly Microsoft’s Live Search, Windows Live Search and their MSN Search.

If you use Yahoo search today, you will find it is using Microsoft’s Bing search engine technology – you will get the same results from a Bing search as you will with a Yahoo search.

I opened up two web browser tabs, went to the Yahoo search, and on the other open tab I went to the Bing search.

I entered the same search terms “Microsoft updates” and the results I got back were more or less the same from Bing and Yahoo.

Why all the fuss over search engines from these players? Why, follow the money of course.

Sure, it’s all about the advertising revenues that have these large companies tripping all over themselves.

Right now Google is the king of search, no question about it.

But Microsoft wants some of the pie, and it is no surprise Apple wants a slice of it, too.

Just as people become comfortable using certain brand name products, we also have become comfortable using a certain brand name search engine.

Google has name recognition, but so does Microsoft, and from what I have been reading and seeing, Microsoft’s Bing search engine is off to a good start.

And with a world-wide recognizable brand name like Apple, it reminds me of the Smucker’s jingle which ends with “. . . you know it has to be good.”

Officially, Apple has not made any public comments about putting its own search engine online.

On this week’s Web Site of The Week forum, the Bits_blogger just told your humble columnist he would be posting information about search engines, including some of the first search engines used over the Internet, so be sure to stop by and check it out.