Google recently announced that it will start indexing content in Android apps. This development enables the search engine to provide results that give the user the option to either view content on a website or on an app that the user has already installed.
For users, this provides a more seamless mobile experience by giving them the option to view content in the form that most appeals to them. For webmasters, it represents an opportunity to promote their mobile apps. Unsurprisingly, it also represents an opportunity for Google.
According to Waleed Rashid, Senior Account Manager, Google’s app indexing “opens up a possible secondary revenue opportunity within the apps. In the end, Google wants to provide the best possible experience for its users while simultaneously establishing the best revenue opportunities for itself. Native apps tend to work far more effectively than mobile websites (even if optimized), so the consumer experience is better. By securing ad space on those apps Google guarantees itself an additional revenue source for a long time to come.”
According to Grant Simmons, Director of SEO, this also means better tracking and more data. “Being able to index across devices and platforms transcends the traditional session-based approach to user tracking. App indexation opens up new opportunities for cookie-less tracking through logged in users, which will create a larger pool of data so that (ultimately) Google and other platforms can more precisely target ads and messaging. For SEO folk, this means additional opportunities to increase visibility of app content in the search results, better attribution for SEO efforts, and greater data to support strategic and tactical decisions.”
Google’s new app indexing most certainly demonstrates the growing importance of mobile search, and it serves as a healthy reminder that websites need to optimize their online presence for the entire spectrum of devices and search venues that are now available to searchers.