For years, people been complaining that app discovery is broken and this may well have changed this week with Google announcing the next logical step for its app indexing. Now, anyone searching for a specific term on Google will now be prompted to install an app when Google discovers relevant content inside that app.
Google’s app indexing works by developers enabling their app’s content to be indexed by Google – much like a website. This then enables Google to deep link to content inside your app. If you’re not familiar with deep linking, it’s the ability to place a link directly to a page or item inside an app or website rather than generically to the app or website itself.
Let’s say that you have a cocktail making app with over 1,000 recipes in it. If you hadn’t enabled indexing, then anyone searching for specific cocktail recipes such as a Black Russian may never find your app because your app may simply be indexing as ‘cocktail recipes’. If you now enable indexing in your app it means that all 1,000 of your recipes can be searchable and it also means that Google sees much more than just the name of your app and the description and is now intelligently using the information to create deep links direct to the content itself. The user who searches for a Black Russian will then be shown relevant apps (including yours) and when they install the app and open it, they will be taken specifically to the recipe that they were looking for.
Indexing and deep linking has huge implications for Android app marketing. The most major one is that it is turning Google’s search engine into a huge extension of Google Play by enabling apps to appear within search results. The biggest search engine on earth is now getting better at noticing apps and this significantly increases the chance of your app being discovered. On another level, it adds more intelligence and refinement to the app discovery process so that someone looking for a specific item is not given a generic app that may well contain it, but is instead directing you very specifically to a place where it knows there is something that you are looking for.
It still remains to be seen how this will work for all genres of app and how Google interprets the data. The indexing may work well for apps such as cocktail recipes, travel companies and retailers where people are searching for very specific items, but less so for games where someone is simply looking for something like a ‘Football game’. That said, if a football game has the license to a specific team or players then they could be indexed and show up in results. Whatever the outcome, this can only be a hugely positive thing for app developers in helping them gain a greater degree of exposure for their products.
To enable app indexing click here