In our constant attempt to stay on top of changes in the online industry, including changes of algorithms and activities of major search engines, our research has identified Googlebot scanning all of our client sites for an apple-touch-icon.png file in the last few days. This file is what iPhones and iPads use when users save a website to the home screen. After doing some further investigation into past records, we've couldn’t identify any previous scanning of these files by Googlebot or any other search engines.
From the search engine optimization, web design and online marketing standpoint, is there any correlation between the newly released iPad and these new Googlebot scans? Is Google planning on using these icons in their web search results for organic searches? Perhaps the native Google iPhone or iPad apps will use them in the future. Or, are they destined for a new, special feature of Google Image Search?
Maybe we'll find out soon. Or, maybe we never will.