Google Struggles To Boost Search Traffic On Its iPhone Apps

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According to a report from The Information, Google is striving to decrease its dependence on Apple’s Safari browser, but the pace of progress has been slower than expected.

While awaiting a decision on the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit, Google faces potential jeopardy to its agreement with Apple.

The existing arrangement, where Google serves as the default search engine on Safari for iPhones, could be at risk if the court rules against Google.

To lessen this risk, Google is promoting its Google Search and Chrome apps to iPhone users for browsing. Nevertheless, these initiatives have achieved only modest success so far.

Modest Gains In App Adoption

In the last five years, Google has raised its share of iPhone searches conducted through its apps from 25% to just over 30%.

While this shows improvement, it still lags behind Google’s internal goal of reaching 50% by 2030.

To achieve this, the company has implemented diverse marketing strategies, highlighting features such as Lens image search and enhancements to the Discover feed.

However, Safari’s default position on iPhones continues to present a significant challenge.

Financial Stakes & Market Dynamics

The financial stakes are significant for both Google and Apple due to this ongoing competition.

In 2023, Google reportedly paid Apple more than $20 billion to uphold its role as Safari’s default search engine.

By persuading more users to use its own apps, Google seeks to decrease these payments and strengthen its position in upcoming talks.

Antitrust Lawsuit & Potential Consequences

Google’s business model faces a significant threat from the ongoing antitrust lawsuit.

A potential loss in the case might mean losing access to about 70% of searches conducted on iPhones, which make up roughly half of all smartphones in the U.S.

Such an outcome could have repercussions on Google’s mobile search advertising revenue, which surpassed $207 billion in 2023.

New Initiatives & Leadership

To tackle these challenges, Google has recruited new talent, such as Robby Stein, a former executive from Instagram and Yahoo.

Stein’s current role involves spearheading initiatives aimed at persuading iPhone users to adopt Google’s mobile apps. He is exploring strategies to enhance the appeal of these apps, including the possible integration of generative AI technologies.

Looking Ahead

As the antitrust ruling looms, Google’s success in enticing users to its apps will dictate its hold on the search market.

We’ll closely monitor how Google addresses these obstacles and whether it can lessen its dependency on Safari.

Original news from SearchEngineJournal