How App Indexing Is Changing The SEO World

Last June, both Google and Apple made announcements that they would improve their app search capabilities by utilizing various technologies that index deep content within an app. In essence, app indexing refers to the accumulation of information within an app to create search results. This means that if you are searching for a restaurant on your phone, for instance, the search engine can guide you directly to an app where you can make reservations in that restaurant, instead of redirecting you to a website.

In this case, the app indexing API offers developers an effective way to let Google know about the deep links in their native applications. The API also lets the Google app (version 3.6 or higher) engage a Google Search query auto completion and offer fast and easy access to the inner pages of the app. These deep links are essentially reported via the app API indexing and are used by Google to index app content. They can then later be surfaced in Google Search results.

App indexing
image courtesy of Google Developers

App indexing matters

Companies that don’t have iOS and Android apps are at a significant disadvantage because indexed apps could be the key to establishing and maintaining top mobile Google Search rankings. Here are some tips to help you ensure your business is part of the app revolution in the world of SEO:

1. Index

You need an app in each of the app stores and the app needs to be indexed. The search engines are designed to index your app content themselves, so that when a user searches relevant keywords, Google recommends the app. Of course, you also need to have a corresponding website with information that matches the app’s content and is actively driving traffic.

2. Optimization

Optimizing HTML websites is no longer enough to lead your SEO efforts; marketers will need to look more thoroughly into app optimization. With tools like Siri and Spotlight, users can bypass search engines altogether. Whenever someone searches via Spotlight, deep links can take the user directly to an app that has content relevant to the keywords, without having to use a search engine. It is therefore important to add keywords in titles, tags, and descriptions.

3. Google Now

Deep links and indexed content are now very important because Google Now On Tap lets users search without leaving the app. All the user needs to do is hold down the home button and Google will run a scan of the information already on the screen. Quite impressive, right? With this technology, the search engine can similarly produce related info and apps. This is why you need to index all relevant keywords!

How important are apps?

Apps are extremely important considering that the app store will actually work independently from the SEO optimization on your website. The app store search functions in a completely different manner from the classic search engine search. If you don’t already have an indexed app, you should be sure to get one as soon as possible!

Apple gadgets

Which ranking factors should be considered?

1. Installation Status

Android apps are featured on Google’s search engine results page when they are, or have previously been, installed in gadgets. Rather than simply examining the gadget, Google will track the app downloads via the download history or activity history of the user. Therefore, only a searcher that is logged into Google’s services will see these affects.

2. Technical Execution

One of the most important methods for every app publisher to rank high in search results is to ensure an accurate technical execution of app indexing. Just as important is to offer valuable and engaging content to users.

3. Site Signal

Common SEO tactics including properly phrased description and title tags are likely one of Google’s mechanisms for ranking deep links.

Deep App Indexing for Google Search

You can utilize these steps even when the app is in the development stage. Following these steps is quite straightforward, and Google itself has outlined the process in detail.

Step #1: Ensure the app can manage deep links

Step #2: Reference deep links by adding codes to the relevant web pages

Step #3: Index privately and optimize well

The second step can be quite tricky because you can create an app that is set up with deep links but not set up for Google indexing. Deep links won’t show up in Google Search results.


Of course, there are always changes and advancements in technology, and it is important to be ready to adapt to these developments as they arise. Yet, the advantages of app indexing are evident and remain advantageous to those hoping to gain SEO success.