About a month ago we told you about Google rolling out its version of search that runs across apps. We told you about the development as it appeared in the Webmaster Central blog.
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.
Just like it crawls and indexes websites, Googlebot can now index content in your Android app. Webmasters will be able to indicate which app content you’d like Google to index in the same way you do for webpages today — through your existing Sitemap file and through Webmaster Tools. If both the webpage and the app contents are successfully indexed, Google will then try to show deep links to your app straight in our search results when we think they’re relevant for the user’s query and if the user has the app installed. When users tap on these deep links, your app will launch and take them directly to the content they need.
Now, that capability is being rolled out to searchers as announced in the Inside Search blog at Google.
A task as simple as choosing a movie to see can actually be complex — and the information you want can be in several different places, often in apps. You might get your trivia from IMDb, the box office stats from Wikipedia and ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. Starting today, Google can save you the digging for information in the dozens of apps you use every day, and get you right where you need to go in those apps with a single search. Google Search can make your life a little easier by fetching the answer you need for you — whether it’s on the web, or buried in an app.
Examples given by Google in the post include the picture above which gives you a search result about your query that comes from inside an app.
The other instance where this will help is searching for an app only.
Sometimes, the best answer for a search can be an app. Say you want to explore downhill skiing — now, you can just ask Google for downhill skiing apps and get a collection of useful apps.
This makes perfect sense because using an app rather than trying to navigate through a web result can simply get a searcher from Point A to Point quickly and more efficiently. If you are Google that’s the end game because a happy searcher keeps coming back and they click on ads and companies keep buying ads and on and on. You know the drill.
What do you think of these improvements in search to truly integrate app results? Does this change your approach to app building?