For the most part, what Google wants, Google gets. And starting in 2016, Google wants to change how apps will be ranked through their app indexing. All SEO agencies need to pay close attention to what is on the horizon. Recently the tech mogul announced that within Android, it can now organize and rank app-only web content; this is content that has no web counterpart and only exists within the app itself. Now that Google ranks app-only content apps in a mobile search, the users need to understand how the new system differs.
The main factor in the change is Google relying heavily on their App Indexing API and the signals they receive from it. While Google has given a bump in rankings for using the App Indexing API in the past, the new strategy will go beyond that process.
Apps Early, Apps Often
Google has been pushing the idea of mobile apps since 2013 when they supported content within apps that related directly to the mobile web version. For instance, let’s say there was a native app that listed a variety restaurants, Google would only link out to certain restaurants with a mobile friendly website. Now, they’re doing the same, only with mobile apps. If you’re on a mobile website for a hotel and said company also has native mobile app, Google will then push the user toward using the mobile app itself.
Go Ahead, Stay A While
The change in Google’s App Indexing API will share not only how long users are in app, but also the amount of time spent within a specific page or section of the app. With this, one can assume Google will use the analytics to see the number of users and frequency of those actions to better determine how important a certain action or section is within the app itself.
Android Now, iOS Later
Google has more access to the content of Android apps compared to that of iOS apps, which is expected. With that being said, Google’s App Indexing API will still be able to be integrated directly with iOS app users. If you’re an iOS developer, make sure to include the option for direct integration so you can then communicate the app and its sections are about through the API to Google.
When it comes down to it, if you’re thinking about — or already are in — the world of mobile apps, give Google what it wants. Including the company’s App Indexing API as part of any app won’t be a nice addition, it will be necessary.
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