Google Search Extends Mobile App Visibility

In recent times, Android developers have faced an uphill battle to gain visibility among users who visit the Play Store. Because millions of applications are available on the Google Play Store, the challenge has been to get users to find your application and then to keep them engaged with it.

For most users, their Web experience begins with a Google Web search. Google has provided Android applications the App Indexing feature, which involves adding deep links. Deep links work like this: When a user does a Google search, there is a chance that the search results will also show Android applications that can meet the search requirements. These links, when clicked from the Web search results, will launch the Android application. This would meet another important criterion of keeping the users engaged with applications.

There was a catch to that though. The Android applications that showed up in the search results had deep linking enabled, but they had to be installed on the device. So if your app was not installed on the device, it would not show up in the results. This is now a thing of the past. Google search is rolling out a feature this week that will not just display the search results for the keywords but also display applications that meet the search criteria and are not installed on the device.

This is a big win for Android developers who want visibility for their applications on the Play Store and are struggling to get that because of the millions of applications present in the store. What this means is that if you have not started with App Indexing, then this is a great time to do so.

Google has provided a good set of resources to enable App Indexing in your application. Check out this guide for adding deep links to an existing app. In case you do not have an existing website for your application, you can use the App Indexing API to notify Google of the deep links. Finally, there is a codelab for getting your app into the Google Index.

Be sure to read the next Search article: Google Enables JSON Search History Downloads