Introducing Mobile App Indexing on Search: a better experience for mobile search users

Thursday, October 31, 2013 | 2:29 PM

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Here's some great news from Google’s search team: In-app content is now becoming visible in Google search. Starting today, users on Android devices can jump straight from Google search results to pages inside an app.

For Google Analytics for mobile apps users, this opens up a new world of insights into areas like revenues, engagement and overall app usage.

We've reposted the original blog post below. And if you haven't already, try Google Analytics for mobile apps for powerful insights into how users engage with your app.

There are many reasons to build or not to build a mobile app as part of your broader mobile strategy. For instance, while apps offer a rich user experience, users can’t access them through Google Search like they do websites. Today, we’re announcing a new Google Search capability, app indexing, that will start to make apps more accessible through Google on Android.
Let’s say that a user is searching for a movie. With app indexing, Google will begin to include deep links to apps in Android search results. When the user taps on the “Open in app” deep links, the app opens up directly to the movie in question.
In this example, in order for the app deep links to appear in search results,
  • The Flixster app supports deep linking
  • The Rotten Tomatoes website has specified that the Flixster app page is an alternate for the web page
  • Google has indexed the Flixster app to determine relevance
  • The user has installed the Flixster app
The end result is that users will have a seamless search experience when accessing your app content through Google.
Google is currently testing app indexing with an initial group of developers including AllTheCooks, AllTrails, Beautylish, Etsy,Expedia, Flixster, Healthtap, IMDb, moviefone, newegg, OpenTable, Trulia, and Wikipedia. Deep links for these applications will start to appear in Google search results on Android, in the US, in a few weeks.

How to get started

If you are interested in enabling indexing for your Android app, you can learn more about our developer guidelines at developers.google.com/app-indexing and sign up. We are expanding our app indexing efforts and will gradually include more developers over time.
Posted by Chaesang Jung, Software Engineer