Have you heard about Google app indexing? Google has started indexing Android app content in search results to offer a better search experience for apps and users. It means that when you search for some information such as movie details or nearby restaurant, you could open the relevant results in apps directly from the search results page.
Google’s web crawling bot also index content in your Android app. You can indicate whether publishers prefer Google to direct search users to their app or website on a page by page basis.
Back in December, the feature has been limited to English content, and limited to users in U.S., but now Google has opened up the feature to users and developers around the globe. Initially 13 apps were part of this feature that includes: AllTrails, Allthecooks, Beautylish, Etsy, Expedia, Flixster, Healthtap, IMDb, Moviefone, Newegg, OpenTable, Trulia, and Wikipedia. In addition to expanding globally, Google has added 24 new apps which are:
Process to Enable Google Search App Indexing
To get this working, you need to configure your website and your app to define relationship between them.
1) App deep links to be included for web URLs.
2) Specify app links for each page on your website or through sitemap
3) Make sure that these links can be opened in your app and suggest how the page’s content can be opened.
4) Add filters for deep linking in your app manifest.
5) Your filters should specify how to reach content inside your app.
Correctly configuring your website and app are the foremost requirement for indexing your app and to show “Open in app” deep links in search results. You can view all technical details by visiting this.
Google has provided some technical best practices:
1) Specify an app deep link for the homepage of website.
2) Don’t provide annotations for deep links that execute native ARM code.
3) Make sure to include deep link annotations in News Sitemaps and General Sitemaps for news sites.
The Final Step
Here, comes a useful checklist for app indexing issued by Google
• App supports deep linking and the manifest file describes an intent filter with the action android.intent.action.VIEW, and has the categories android.intent.category.BROWSABLE and android.intent.category.DEFAULT.
• App deep link implementation has been tested by running the command “adb shell am start [deep link]” with an Android device.
• Tapping the BACK button after opening a deep link leads you back to the previous screen.
• After opening a deep link, relevant content is visible without further action required; app provides the “first click free.”
• App supports a deep link that opens the home screen.
Website and Server
• Deep link annotations have been added to sitemaps or to web pages.
• None of the domains or subdomains the app needs resources from have robots.txt that blocks Googlebot from those resources.
• Deep link annotations have been provided only for canonical web URLs.
TO SUM UP
Publishers can adopt this mark-up and when it is done, you can let Google know by this form.
What are your views about Google app indexing? Do you think this will benefit your business? Share your views with us by commenting below.