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Digital News to Watch: Apple Intelligent Search set to disrupt the search engine market

In this week’s digital news, Apple is releasing a new Intelligent Search feature in Safari 18 that summarises webpages instead of just showing links, potentially disrupting the search engine market. Google, the current leader, is facing an antitrust trial regarding its search advertising practices and may see a rise in social media advertising as budgets there are expected to grow significantly this year. TikTok, despite a potential US ban, is also expanding its advertising options.

Apple’s new Intelligent Search set to disrupt the search engine market

Apple are expected to be releasing their new Intelligent Search feature, which will answer search queries by summarising web pages, with the release of Apple Safari 18 later this year. Apple has been gathering data for years through the use of its’ internet crawler, Applebot, which has currently been used in Siri and Apple’s Spotlight Suggestion features. This data is now expected to be used in Apple Intelligent Search to disrupt the traditional search engine.

Google’s John Mueller shares insights on recovering from a Core Update

Mueller responded to a question on X to offer hope to site owners that have seen a drop as a result of a Core Update hope that recovery is achievable, whilst the recovery timeline from Google remains unclear. Reassuring site owners that Google don’t hold grudges against sites, Mueller acknowledged the complexities of rankings, saying: “…some things take much longer to be reassessed (sometimes months, at the moment), and some bigger effects require another update cycle.”

From Mueller’s comments we can tell that making improvements doesn’t guarantee immediately regaining lost rankings and that site owners should be prepared for a long, consistent journey of improving overall site and content quality and not expect overnight recovery.

PR budgets rise for the third time in a row

PR budgets have grown – marginally – for the third successive quarter, according to the latest IPA Bellwether report. While 14 per cent of respondents to the IPA Bellwether survey reported increases in their PR budgets, 13.4 per cent said their budgets had been cut. The latest IPA Bellwether report warns that the growth in PR “was marginal and the lowest in the sequence”. The net balance of 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year is down from 1.9 per cent at the end of 2023. However, the report, based on a survey of about 300 marketing professionals, says: “Marketing executives are, on balance, optimistic that spending will increase during the 2024/25 financial year. Final data showed that a net balance of +6.3 per cent of respondents expect an upward revision to PR budgets.”

Google’s antitrust trial spotlights search ads

In Google’s antitrust trial, the focus was on ads today, with the U.S. Dept. of Justice painting Google as the sole player in a market with escalating prices. They argued that Google’s search advertising business has ensnared advertisers without providing higher returns, pointing to issues like limited alternatives, opaque ranking processes, and inflated bidding systems. Google countered, suggesting growth avenues beyond search, like display ads and social media. They downplayed the allegations, citing lack of evidence connecting price hikes to anticompetitive behaviour. Google has increasingly come under pressure for raising prices through leaked documents which we could potentially see surface again.

Global social media ad spend to approach £200bn in 2024

According to WARC Media, social media is the largest media channel worldwide by advertising investment, with Meta alone representing a 63% share of global social spend. Having overtaken paid search last year, social media is forecast to total $247.3bn (£198.1bn) in 2024, up 14.3% year-on-year. Meta alone is on track to surpass linear TV in global ad revenue by 2025. In the UK, social media ad spend grew 15.6% year-on-year in 2023 and is forecast to reach £8.8bn in 2025, per the latest AA/WARC expenditure report. Much of this growth is attributed to rising spend on social video formats, up 20% on last year, according to IAB UK.

TikTok expands its premium ad slots despite potential US ban

TikTok is rolling out new advertising features to attract more ad revenue, despite facing a potential U.S. ban. These include using AI to curate brand-safe content, offering ad slots tied to specific events like the Paris Olympics, and allowing advertisers to target specific networks and content categories. The platform is also expanding its “Pulse Premiere” ad slot, partnering with companies like NBCUniversal and Paramount Global to offer ads alongside premium content. TikTok aims to provide measurement tools through Nielsen ONE Ads and to assess ad performance. Despite uncertainty over its future due to the ban threat, TikTok is pressing forward with ad innovations showcased at the IAB NewFronts 2024.

For more information on any of these stories or for support with your digital marketing campaigns, get in touch with our team by sending us an email to 

Kylie Moody - Modo25
Kylie Moody
Kylie Moody - Modo25
Kylie Moody

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