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Search Different Understanding Apple's New Search Engine State of Search 2016

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My research on Apple's Spotlight Search and Apple Maps Ranking Factors from the State of Search 2016 conference

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Search Different Understanding Apple's New Search Engine State of Search 2016

  1. 1. Andrew Shotland CEO, LOCALSEOGUIDE.COM Search Different Understanding Apple’s “New” Search Engine State of Search Dallas, TX Nov 15, 2016
  2. 2. /about-us 2 10 years of Multi-Location & Enterprise SEO for Brands & Agencies
  3. 3. Think Apple Maps Suck?
  4. 4. You Know What Doesn’t Suck? 4 http://www.asymco.com/2016/08/18/counting-apples-customers/
  5. 5. 64MM People In U.S. Use Apple Maps 5 https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Rankings/
  6. 6. Apple’s Local Search Evolution 6
  7. 7. Spotlight Search’s Desktop Evolution 7
  8. 8. Spotlight Search’s Desktop Evolution 8
  9. 9. Apple “Quietly” Skimming The Best Queries? 9
  10. 10. iOS 9: The Search Game-Changer • Siri • Spotlight • Safari 10
  11. 11. iOS9 Search: Siri • Apple Maps • Bing Search • App-Specific Commands • “Open”, “Play”, “Call”, etc. 11
  12. 12. iOS9 Search: Safari • Apple Maps • App Content • Suggested Websites 12
  13. 13. iOS9 Search: Spotlight • App Content • Websites • Bing Search 13
  14. 14. And Don’t Forget About… 14
  15. 15. Apple News 15
  16. 16. Oh Yeah…Apple TV + Siri 17
  17. 17. So What’s Apple’s Game? 18
  18. 18. So How Can You Play? 19
  19. 19. Two iOS Search Indexes Applebot crawls + “Standard SEO” User-created content/engagement with apps on user’s device 20
  20. 20. Spotlight Search Algorithm Test • Enter query • Click on first Best Buy Locator result • Repeat query • Record rankings • Click on first Best Buy Locator result in “pack” • Repeat 21
  21. 21. Query = “tv” Result # 1 2 3 (Accidental Click on Contacts) 4 5 1 1 App Xfinity TV Go 1 App Xfinity TV Go 1 App Xfinity TV Go 1 App Xfinity TV Go 1 App Xfinity TV Go 2 3 “TV” Contacts: Tim Villaneuva, Amy Vernon? 3 “TV” Contacts: Tim Villaneuva, Amy Vernon? 3 “TV” Contacts: Tim Villaneuva, Amy Vernon? 3 “TV” Contacts: Tim Villaneuva, Amy Vernon? 3 “TV” Contacts: Tim Villaneuva, Amy Vernon? 3 3 Apple Music “Townes Van Zandt” 3 Apple Music “Townes Van Zandt” 3 Apple Music “Townes Van Zandt” 3 Apple Music “Townes Van Zandt” 3 Apple Music “Townes Van Zandt” 4 1 Podcast 1 Podcast 1 Podcast 1 Podcast 1 Podcast 5 1 iCal event 1 iCal event 1 iCal event 1 iCal event 1 iCal event 6 3 BB 3 BB 1 iMessage 3 BB 3 BB 7 1 iMessage 1 iMessage 3 mail 1 iMessage 1 iMessage 8 3 mail 3 mail 2 Notes 3 mail 3 mail 9 2 Notes 2 Notes 3 videos 2 Notes 2 Notes 10 3 videos 3 videos 3 BB 3 videos 3 videos 22
  22. 22. Query = “appliance” Result # Query #1 2 3 4 5 1 2 suggested websites 1 BB 2 BB 3 BB 3 BB 2 3 maps 2 suggested websites 2 suggested websites 2 suggested websites 2 suggested websites 3 1 podcast 3 maps 3 maps 3 maps 3 maps 4 3 mail 1 podcast 1 podcast 1 podcast 1 podcast 5 3 BB 3 BB 3 BB 3 BB 3 BB 6 Wikipedia 3 mail 3 mail 3 mail 3 mail 7 3 Bing Wikipedia Wikipedia Wikipedia Wikipedia 8 3 Bing 3 Bing 3 Bing 3 Bing 23
  23. 23. Spotlight Search Algorithm • The app must contain the keyword or some close variation to rank • The more you use an app the more likely it is to show up, regardless of what you use it for • The more common a keyword the more likely irrelevant results are to rank • Content/engagement ratio appears to be a non-factor at the moment 24
  24. 24. How Yelp “SPAMs” Spotlight Search 25
  25. 25. 26
  26. 26. Apple Maps Search Does Suck 27
  27. 27. If Keyword Not Mapped To Biz Name or Category U R Screwed…
  28. 28. SIRI Doesn’t Get It Either…
  29. 29. Voice Search is Your Frenemy 30
  30. 30. Apple Maps Ranking Factors •Category relevance to query •Keyword in business name •Proximity to searches’ centroid (user’s and/or city’s) •Yelp Meta Data (e.g. $$$$) – Unclear how important reviews are for rankings, but likely affect CTR.
  31. 31. Broad Geo Queries Can Lie…
  32. 32. Dupes Can Screw Up Categorization & Rankings There are two dupe listings in MapsConnect. UNCLAIMED LISTING Category: Hardware Stores, Keys & Locksmiths CLAIMED LISTING Category: Keys & Locksmiths
  33. 33. A Picture Is Worth a 1,000 Lost Reservations… 34 Sources
  34. 34. The Mysterious Case of DCNine Nightclub 35 https://www.tomtom.com/mapshare/tools/ https://mapsconnect.apple.com/ http://www.openstreetmap.org/ http://www.flickr.com Non U.S.? Check http://gspe21.ls.apple.com/html/attribution-38.html for geospatial & business listings sources. (Warning: Updates to new URL every few months)
  35. 35. Patience Grasshopper, Patience… 36
  36. 36. Monitor for Legacy Business Problems 37 • Moving Locations • Changing Phone #s • Rebranding • Acquisitions • Disasters • Crappy Local Listings Management Vendors You Hired Previously Because You Were Cheap…
  37. 37. Near Term Considerations: • Make sure your business data is up to date on Apple Maps • U.S. Data Providers: - mapsconnect.apple.com - Axciom - Booking.com - Factual.com - GasBuddy.com - GreatSchools.com - Neustar Localeze - Parkopedia - TripAdvisor.com - Yelp.com 38 Non U.S.? Check http://gspe21.ls.apple.com/html/attribution-38.html for geospatial & business listings sources. (Warning: Updates to new URL every few months)
  38. 38. Near Term Considerations • Claim all dupes and shut them down or recategorize them to the category you want to display • Get as many people as possible to report incorrect categorizations in Apple Maps via “Report an Issue” UI • Update Apple Maps data aggregators, including TomTom & OSM, to make all categorization as consistent as possible • For non-category keywords, like “copy keys”: • Target Bing rankings for SIRI queries • Implement app indexing on your iOS app • Mark-up website location pages with http://schema.org/Organization using the correct categorization. • If all else fails, consider submitting via one of these providers as their data is likely more • Brandify (Where2GetIt) • DAC Group • Location3 • MomentFeed • PositionTech • RioSEO • SIMPartners • Yext
  39. 39. One More Thing…
  40. 40. Millions of More Things… https://maps.apple.com/place?address=1 22%20W%20Neal%20St%0APleasanton %2C%20CA%20%2094566%0AUnited %20States&auid=471728985783404915 9&ll=37.660145128309622%2C- 121.87523612755341&lsp=9902&q=Ha p's%20Original%20Steaks%20%26%20 Seafood URLS = AM ID + Lat/Long + Name
  41. 41. Further Reading • AppleMapsMarketing.com • iOS App Search Programmer Guide • Yext:Optimizing Local Search for iOS9 (reg req’d) TL;DR? andrew@localseoguide.com www.localseoguide.com/contact twitter.com/localseoguide 42

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