Does Apple have a web crawler? That’s a question that many people have asked lately – and it has finally been conclusively answered, as the company has recently posted, to its website, a help document that confirms the existence of its web crawler, called AppleBot.
The document reveals several crucial details about AppleBot, including that it is “used by products including Siri and Spotlight Suggestions”. AppleBot works much like Google’s web crawler, GoogleBot, and enables Apple to provide its own search results, rather than results from a third party like Google.
However, it remains unclear how long AppleBot has been in operation. AppleBot’s period of operation could date as far back as November, when a web developer revealed on Twitter that they had noticed hits from a crawler evidently controlled by Apple.
On the other hand, AppleBot could have been running from February, when the help document first appeared, or April, when the document was given its first content.
The revelations about AppleBot are among mounting evidence that Apple intends to further develop its search offer to compete with Google. Apple Insider has reported that Apple is quickly growing its internal search group in order to put together its own legitimate web search engine through its Spotlight desktop search feature.