While Google frequently makes changes to its algorithm, the onslaught of adjustments the search engine giant has released of late has the potential to create a significant impact on rankings.
Among the most recent announcements made by Google is that the search engine will begin utilizing information from indexed apps as a ranking signal for signed-in uses who have installed the app. According to Google, this factor may now result in content from indexed apps being displayed more prominently in searches.
App indexing is not a new concept for Google. The company first tested it in late 2013 based on the concept that searchers using smartphones often experience delays that can slow down their searches. The most significant delays occur when searchers need to change from an app to a web page, which can result in pop-up dialogs, redirects and additional taps and swipes.
With successful indexing, Google can display deep links inside apps within search results. When a user then taps on those links, the relevant app will launch and direct users to the correct content. Google indicated when it began exploring app indexing that ranking would not be affected. Today, that is not the case. Marketers need to get up to speed or fall behind their competition.
This past December, Google reported that app deep link clicks increased by ten times compared to the previous quarter. If your brand is not already implementing app indexing, now is definitely the time to do so.
Steps for getting started with app indexing.
To ensure you do not fall behind in rankings, add deep link support and then go to the Google Play Console to verify your app's official website. Once that is done, the next step is to actually provide deep links. Finally, use Webmaster Tools to check for errors.
When you are preparing for app indexing keep in mind that you need to specify intent filters within your app manifest. This is necessary to define how specific content is accessed within your app. The good news is that Google has provided directions that will walk you through the process.
Tracking performance for app indexing.
As is the case when implementing any new digital marketing strategy, you will need to track performance for your deep app links. Once again, Google helps by providing a weekly update on clicks and impressions.
For the moment, Google only provides indexing support for Android apps. It might seem that by not offering support for iOS the search-engine titan is missing out on a tremendous number of apps. The fact is Android dominates the smartphone market. This is largely due to the sheer number of devices that Android has on the market. ABI reports that Android has cornered 53 percent of the market share.
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