Apple updated the “about Applebot” help documentation page

Apple updated the "about Applebot"

Like Googlebot, Apple also has its web crawler that is called Applebot. This is very common among Apple users but the term might be unfamiliar to those who don’t know that Apple also has its web crawler. And this time I will talk about Applebot, yes guys, you know why? Because recently, Apple has updated the ‘about Applebot’ page to tell users how Apple ranks web results. Isn’t it interesting? Do you also submit your site on the Apple search engine? If so, then Applebot is definitely one that crawls your site. Don’t you want to know the recent update that Apple made in about Applebot’s help documentation page? If yes, just continue to read this article till the end.

Now, let’s dig into the update below.

Apple’s New Update on ‘about Applebot’ help documentation page

At the end of the month of July, an update released about Apple that it has updated ‘about Applebot’ help documentation page. In this documentation, Apple lists information about how Apple ranks web results. Moreover, the company also updated information around Applebot. In the introduction, I gave you the gist on Applebot that it is the web crawler for Apple. But it is also a web crawler for many Apple products such as Spotlight and Siri use Applebot.

However, earlier it considered that Spotlight and Siri in iOS and OS X platforms used Googlebot and Bing search engines. Let me also tell you that Googlebot and Applebot have similar functionalities. Sometimes, when Applebot would not find Applebot-specific instruction, it would follow Googlebot’s instructions. And then Applebot will follow customary robot.txt rules and robots Meta logs.

Apple to take up 5 following accounts when ranking web search results

In the help documentation, Apple stated that it will consider the 5 accounts while ranking search results. So look at the following accounts below-

  1. Aggregated user engagement with search results
  2. The site should have a number of quality of links from other pages on the web
  3. Website design characteristics should be there
  4. Relevancy and matching of search terms to webpage topics and content
  5. User location-based signals (approximate data)

Apple said, “Our search results may use the above factors with no (pre-determined) importance of rankings.”

From the above-given accounts, it is clear that for ranking Apple does use user engagement with its search results like CTR (click-through rate), pogo sticking, etc. However, Microsoft search engine Bing also does this but Google doesn’t. Like Google, Apple too uses the content and topic for your page for ranking. Furthermore, it looks at links, user location, and design characteristics of the page.   

Also, make sure that you provide an excellent answer to the question the user asked through the voice command. In fact, 70% of voice commands are done using conversational language rather than individual keywords. Therefore, optimize your content for long-tail keywords such as title and Meta description.

Important things you should be aware of ‘about Applebot’

If you have a website then it is crucial for you to know that your site is easily crawled by Applebot. In online documentation, Apple clearly said that the bot will have attributes such as:

  • The reverse DVS of the agent shows in the * domain
  • The I.P will be originating from the block.
  • The user agent string contains the word “Applebot”

In addition, you can customize the robot.txt rules to target Applebot.

User-agent: Applebot # apple

Allow: / # Allow everything (also true if omitted)

Disallow: /documents/ # disallow this directory

In fact, Apple will also provide the page as part of the crawl. It simply means that Applebot has access to any Javascript and CSS files required to render the page. In case, if it doesn’t work then make sure that the content is still visible to Applebot even if the quality of the page is degraded.

Should you care about this update of Apple?

Well, you should pay attention to this update because Applebot is almost like Googlebot that crawls your site to rank it on the search engine. We know that Applebot crawls the internet to index pages for Siri’s voice searches. No doubt, everybody knows about Siri that it is the Apple flagship voice assistant that powers all the Apple devices. In the USA market, Siri’s voice is the dominant one. In fact, in 2018, Apple announced that there were 500 million devices in the world that used Siri’s voice assistant. However, experts predicted that only 50% of all online searches will be voice-based by the end of 2020.

What did you get to know from these figures? It only indicates how crucial voice search has become over the past few years that now it’s time that you give the same attention to Applebot as you give to the Googlebot.

When did Apple first publish the document on Applebot?

The first update Apple released about Applebot in 2015. On July 17, Justin Mosebach, director of search marketing said on Twitter, “the before and after the doc has been updated. According to him, Apple updated the Applebot page last after Friday. The updated page provides details about Applebot, and Apple has listed directories supported by Applebot. These directives actually include no-index, no-snippet, no-follow, none, and all.

Let me also tell you that previously Apple has a partnership with Google and Bing to provide search results in products like Siri. At that time Google and Bing were the dominant search engines but since Applebot launched the little focus is now shifted on Applebot.

Final words Guys, Apple is a big brand and company. But when it comes to search engine bots then Apple is far away from Google and Bing. But now Google is making its space in the digital market tremendously. And the update Apple released on ‘about Applebot’ is very crucial for all the marketers whose sites are crawled by Applebot. So make sure you follow all the instructions of Apple so that you get a high rank on the search engine results page on Google.

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