Written by Jessica Lee, July 1, 2014
Did you hear the news that Google is now indexing more mobile app content in its search results? That means, for those who have apps installed on their mobile devices, they could be seeing more relevant app content for their search queries. And with that announcement, Google also mentioned a huge opportunity for app creators: Android app indexing is now available to all.
Back in April and in May, Google revealed expansions to the feature it rolled out in December 2013. If you’re not familiar with the way it works, those searching on a mobile device can be served results from content within an app installed on their phone if it’s relevant to the query.
As Google puts it, “Sometimes the best answer is on a website, and sometimes it’s in an app.” With the latest announcement, Google also says there would be modifications to the way the app results were displayed.
App result title links take you directly to the content inside the app. This makes it even easier to access apps from Google. You can tell if a result will take you to an app by looking at the green text just below it. If the green text is the name of an app you’ve installed and has an app icon next to it, then you’ll know the result will link to an app. If the green text is a website URL, then you know the result will link to a webpage.
In addition, Google unveiled its “biggest batch yet” of Android apps it supports, includingBuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Airbnb, and more.
But it’s not just the most popular brands that are supported. If you’re interested in your own Android app being indexed for content you think is relevant to your audience, Google says “app deep links” can help you.
App deep links in search results help your users find your content more easily and re-engage with your app after they’ve installed it. As a site owner, you can show your users the right content at the right time — by connecting pages of your website to the relevant parts of your app you control when your users are directed to your app and when they go to your website.
Google outlined a simple two-part process for apps to start using deep links, which includes adding deep link support to the app, then connecting the website and the app (in order for Google to recognize the app is the “official” app for that website).
The tech giant also revealed a new feature in Google Webmaster Tools that helps app owners debug issues that could arise as a result of app indexing, including “a QR code for the app deep links, so you can easily open them on your phone or tablet,” Google said in its announcement.
“We’ll send you Webmaster Tools error notifications as well, so you can keep up to date.”