Congress wants to break Google, claiming it has illegally thrashed the competition in the search engine market. Google dominates the market with an 86.86% market share as of July 2020.
The argument is that Google pays billions of dollars to other companies to become the default search engine for its consumers.
In 2019, Google paid $30bn for “traffic acquisition costs”, almost a third of its entire search revenue. This was up from $26.7bn the previous year, and up from just $6.2bn a decade earlier.
Google reportedly paid $12 Billion to Apple to make Google the default search engine on Safari for iPhones. This means that if Google is regulated, Apple would lose around $12 Billion each year, which amounts to 1/5 of all its services revenue.
Apple depends on Google, and their ties can be cut anytime. As an alternative, Apple is rumored to be working on its own search engine — Apple Search.
So, how Apple plans to monetize it and make up for $12 Billion?
It’s hard to believe that Apple will use advertisements to monetize its search engine. This is because advertisers use user data to target relevant ads and earn maximum revenue. However, tracking and profiling users is not the only way to make a profit out of ads.
Apple already shows advertisements in its App Store. It is called Apple search ads. They can extend this service to support their search engine.
Apple will and cannot use user data because of its position in privacy. Apple has even declined to help the FBI unlock an iPhone involved in shootings in San Bernardino.
Apple thus will take a different approach. Unlike Google, which profiles users, Apple can follow the footsteps of DuckDuckGo.
DuckDuckGo does not profile users, instead, it uses keywords to show relevant ads for one session: after you close the browser, DuckDuckGo does not know about you. Every session thinks you are a new user.
Apple can use the same method, but of course, they will use an unfamiliar name for it and call it a revolution for the advertising industry.
In one of my articles, I discussed why Apple One should have a VPN service. Apple VPN Is the Next Big Thing Forget smartphones and notebooks, privacy is the new playing fieldmedium.com
With the new search engine, Apple VPN makes more sense than ever. It can complement the Apple search and help Apple make its products more secure.
It will be hard for Apple to charge for a search engine when the best search engine in the world is free — Google is best in terms of search results — no one will purchase Apple search.
So, Apple can charge for the VPN service as most of the good VPN services are paid. It can make up for the cost of a search engine and users will have an option to purchase the VPN.
The only way Apple can charge for its search engine is if they invent something new. If they can invent an extra feature which is incredibly useful and not available in any other search engine, people won’t hesitate to pay.
I can’t think of something which is not available in other search engines, but it’s Apple we are talking about. They may have something up their sleeves.
These are the few ways I think Apple will use to monetize its search engine. There is no guarantee that Apple will do it, but these are the possible ways to monetize a search engine.
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