In the latest sign that Apple may be inching closer to launching its own search service, the Cupertino, California, tech giant recently posted a support page confirming the existence of Applebot, a Web crawler that indexes websites for Apple just as Googlebot does for Google.
The support page was spotted Wednesday and says Applebot is "used by products including Siri and Spotlight Suggestions." Signs of Applebot's existence were first detected by Jan Moesen, a Web developer who noticed traffic coming from the Apple Web crawler in October.
Confirmation of Applebot is the latest sign that Apple could be working on its own search engine. Currently, Google is the default search engine for Apple's Safari Web browser, but that deal is set to expire this year. Apple is expected to ditch Google, but it's unclear how Apple will replace Google.
The company could partner with Microsoft or Yahoo, but Apple has several job openings for experts in the search space, a sign that Apple may decide to go it alone and develop its own engine for users' search queries.