Google Launches App Indexing
Google introduces APP indexing
Got a Droid app and website? You are in luck. Google is currently testing a new service called App Indexing. Here is how Google describes it.
"Google is working with app developers and webmasters to index the content of apps and relate them to websites. When relevant, Google Search results on Android will include deep links to apps."
As you can see from the image, if you've signed up and implemented the deep link support on your app as well as your website site map, then when people search Google on their Droid, Google may show an icon to take them directly into your app, which presumably has a better user experience than a website on mobile. Of course, people have to have your app installed to take full advantage of this functionality.
How will this effect ranking?
At this time there is no data or case studies to show if incorporating App Indexing will improve your search ranking. However, it's a fairly safe bet that if have taken the time and expense to create an app for your website content, if you incorporate App Indexing it will likely improve your positioning at least in Google mobile search results. Of course, you have to have readable unique content to begin with and be relevant to the users search query.
Should small business websites use Google App Indexing?
Most small, brochure style sites will not need an app or app indexing. They will sufficiently serve their mobile users with responsive web design. However, it's feasible that if App Indexing explodes and produces significant increases of traffic, then eventually small brochure style websites may need to invest in app development as well as app indexing. Or, they at least will want to be listed on larger sites that have Apps and participate in App Indexing.
Should a small business with a large online catalog / store / blog use Google App Indexing?
Absolutely, assuming they have an App. On that note, here are couple links to discussions about converting your online store / catalog / blog into an app.
Magento App Creation (Tech discussion at StackOverFlow)
Couch commerce - Magento extension that converts magento shops into an app
Wordpress - Here's a decent collection of WP Droid tools
ijoomer - A Joomla extensions and service provider for converting a Joomla site into a droid and iPhone app.
To get started with APP indexing, sign up at Google App Indexing.
Author: Michael Zittel