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Find Out if the Indexing of Mobile Apps in Google Will Affect Your Rankings
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Find Out if the Indexing of Mobile Apps in Google Will Affect Your Rankings

by Ben Wittams-Smith1st June 2015

Google’s indexing of android apps in the SERPs could change the mobile search landscape – how will it affect your website’s potential?

As mobile phones are becoming the preferred device for searching online, more and more of Google’s attention, and that of webmasters and SEOs is being directed towards mobile phone users.

Google have therefore started allowing developers to index their Android Apps:

“Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results, have a look at our step-by-step guide on the developer site.”

Apps will of course only be indexed for mobile devices, and will appear for search terms which are relevant to the app in question. For example for the search term “James Stewart holiday movie” the top result is IMDB, along with a button to install the IMDB app.

app in results

 

How Indexing Apps Changes the Search Landscape

The indexing of apps has been available in Google since October 2013, but with the ever increasing use of mobile phones for searching online and the release of the Mobile Friendly update, the indexing of apps will become far more effective as a marketing tool.

Users are increasingly turning to apps for the information that they are looking for, and thus it makes sense for Google to serve apps on the results page of Android mobile devices.

The question is: what will this mean for business owners that do not have an android app, moving into the future?

As the use of mobile apps is becoming increasingly prevalent, users will begin to expect there to be an app available to engage with businesses and websites.

Also, will having an app give you a greater chance of ranking high in the mobile SERPs?

Webmasters should be looking to improve their presence on mobile devices by making their website mobile friendly and optimised for a range of different mobile devices – but should they also be looking at creating an app as a necessary next step?

Getting Your App Indexed

In order to enable Google to index your app and present it in the results pages, you need to allow Google to crawl through the content within your app (the content within your app must also correspond to a specific page on your website).

Google describes the process for doing this:

”To enable Google Search app indexing, you need to provide Google with information about the relationship between your app and web site. This process involves the following steps:

1. Enable deep linking to specific content in your app by adding intent filters in your app manifest.
2. Annotate these links in the associated web pages on your web site or in a Sitemap file.
3. Opt in to allow Googlebot to crawl through your APK in the Google Play store to index your app content. You are automatically opted-in when you join as a participant in the early adopter program.”

Google also provides a for enabling deep links for your app content here.

Do you think the indexing of apps will affect the online presence of your website/business? Let us know in the comments section below:

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About The Author
Ben Wittams-Smith
Ben Wittams-Smith is a content writer for Just SEO and the Company Director of JSEO LTD. As a specialist in SEO, SEM and digital marketing, Ben regularly contributes content and provides analytic insight in these areas.

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