What happens if Apple removes Google Search from iOS?


Wojtek Andrzejczak
What happens if Apple removes Google Search...

Apple is against other big corporations like Google and Facebook, but what would happen if Apple decides to remove Google Search from iOS?

Why should Apple remove Google Search?

Google pays Apple a lot of money to let their search engine be the default on iOS. However, Apple is not a fan of Google and the way they spy/track users. But they don’t currently have any other alternative to replace it.

What alternative search engine would Apple chose?

In 2020, there was a rumor that Apple would like to buy DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine. Which also is in opposition to Google in terms of approach to respecting the privacy of the users.

Additionally, DuckDuckGo earns money from the search ads delivered by Bing, which for Apple would be a logical choice since everyone knows that building your search engine with the search ads would take years. And since they have $195 billion in cash on the balance sheets, they would save some time making few purchases instead of reinventing the wheel.

After the last changes, Apple introduced to protect user privacy. I’d be surprised if they would keep Google Search as a default search engine on iOS. In my opinion, it is a matter of when rather than if.

Consequences of removing Google Search from iOS

Okay. Let’s assume that Apple replaces Google Search with an alternative solution. How would this impact advertisers use the Google platform?

Impact on Google Ads

In the countries like Switzerland, where the market share of iOS devices is significant, it would mean a decline in the user reach and general campaign delivery potential.

Advertisers will not target iOS users, except those who use another browser than Safari.

If Apple comes with a Google Ads alternative, agencies would need to switch to the new platform. It won’t be easy to keep the client’s KPIs on track since it will be a new platform that works differently.

Impact on Google DV360

On the first look, it should have no difference for DV360 users if Google Search is or is removed from iOS, right? Unfortunately, it is not correct.

In-Market audiences are build based on users actively browsing or researching content. Without Google Search on iOS, Google In-Market audiences will get smaller and less relevant.

Smaller audiences mean lower campaign performances and higher CPM’s since more advertisers will bid to display ads to specific users.

Summary

Apple yet did not announce, confirmed anything. But when they announce, they give no time to anyone to adopt. Just look at the introduction of ITP or IDFA, not much time to release and not much information which could help prepare ourselves.

Is this panicking a little bit? Maybe. But I remember that each time Apple announced changes about privacy, everyone was saying, it is done, it can not get worse. And it went worst.

And I think it can get worst. And we need to be prepared for whatever Apple will come with.

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