How to Implement App Indexing for Google Search: Your Questions Answered
In October 2013, Google announced App Indexing, which allows Googlebot to crawl and index content within Android apps (a select group at the time) and display it in search results, just like it does for websites. This can be a big opportunity to increase exposure for your app and the content within it. And now’s your chance to use App Indexing to your advantage. At last week’s Google I/O Developer’s Conference, the company announced app indexing was expanding from a select group of apps to all Android apps.
Using the App Indexing API, you can now allow Google to index deep links within your app and display the app content in mobile search results. If you have an Android app and a website, you can now connect both through the Google Play Console and Webmaster Tools, providing the right content at the right time in the right place.
Here’s How App Indexing Works:
App Indexing utilizes deep links to index content from apps and display it in Google search results. For example, let’s say you search for the movie “Django Unchained” on Google’s search app. If you have the IMDB app already installed on your Android device, in the search results you will see the link to the movie content on the app instead of the website.
On your device, you can also search for apps within Google Play directly from Google search. Below is a screenshot of Google search results on an Android device for the keywords “real estate apps.”
App Indexing Increases User Engagement
The app marketplace is crowded, with many apps fighting for downloads – and then for user engagement. According to Localytics, about 1 out of 4 downloaded apps is only opened once. Most Android users still prefer to do a Google search instead of opening an app. So now you can bring those users back by making your app content indexable in Google search, rendering it more easily accessible and improving your engagement rate.
App Indexing Reinforces the Importance of App Store Optimization
App Indexing is Google’s first step in bringing web and mobile together. It reinforces how important it is to optimize your app title and description (see our new, free eBook for tips and tricks). For example, all the apps in the above screenshot have the “Real Estate” keyword in their app title and description, which is why they’re displayed in search results for “real estate apps.” By optimizing your app’s title and description, you make your app discoverable in Google Play as well as Google search. This extra visibility can deliver a significant bump in downloads.
Start optimizing your app’s presence and take advantage of App Indexing as early as possible. You can find out more information on making your app indexable on the Google Developer’s portal.