Google Asks App Developers To Provide App Indexing For App Content Discovery

Nov 1, 2013 • 8:49 am | comments (14) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

android google searchGoogle announced they now support the ability for app developers to submit the content within their Android apps to Google, somewhat like through a Sitemap file. This way, Google can index the content, and then display the content within the search results. Even better, if the user has the app installed, clicking on the result will directly open the app to the content searched for.

Google said:

Today, we’re happy to announce a new capability of Google Search, called app indexing, that uses the expertise of webmasters to help create a seamless user experience across websites and mobile apps.

Here is a picture that helps you visualize this:

click for full size

The process is called app indexing and Google supports it now with Google Search App version 2.8+ for Android 4.1+, and in mobile browsers on Android if the user is signed in. Also, there are a limited number of publishers testing this, if you want to join the test fill out this form.

Technically, to get this working you need to:

  • Annotating app links for each page on your website (or through sitemap) that can be opened in your app to specify how the page's content can be opened in the app.
  • Adding intent filters for deep linking in your app manifest to specify how to reach specific content inside your app.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help & Google+.

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