In the summer of 2014, Google began indexing Android app deep links. Recently, Google has provided information on ways to monitor and optimize app indexing. Android app deep links are shown in Google’s search results pages. This enables users to access certain app content straight from Google’s search listings. Also, Bing announced recently that it is introducing new search features, which will enable users to locate content inside apps. In the past, it was quite difficult to find app content from a normal search. This meant that people usually stuck with the same small selection of familiar apps, instead of exploring and looking to see what else was out there.
How Does App Linking Affect Search Results?
These initial measures that Google and Bing have implemented, relating to crawling through the content of individual apps, could signify the start of apps being the main way people use the Internet. At the moment, Bing has search actions incorporated into its’ platform, which allows users to choose how they wish to use the information they are searching for. Whether they wish to read, listen to or watch the content they are after, users will see apps in the search results that match their requirements.
To monitor an app’s SEO performance, Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) displays the weekly impressions and clicks in the website messages section. GWT offers the following data:
- problems with indexed pages in apps
- impressions and clicks originating from deep links in Google search
- sitemap stats (if available)
Also, an app’s referrer data enables users to monitor the traffic originating from deep links. Presently, Google is in the process of incorporating Google Analytics.
Of course, if it is possible to gain rankings on the basis of an app’s content, without needing to invest money in costly advertising, this means there has to be an algorithm for analyzing that content. Therefore, app developers who can find a way of impressing this algorithm may be able to optimize their apps, so they appear further up the search results. Essentially, it looks increasingly probable that SEO will start to play a big part in the marketing of apps, even for less prolific developers.
Naturally, this process is still in its’ infancy. However, the fact that a broader spectrum of app content is being made easier to find suggests a shift in the way we use apps. This mirrors the same kind of shift that occurred when modern search engines changed the way we experienced the Internet.
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