Google App Indexing: Google Can Index & Link To Content In Your Android App

android logoGoogle announced that they can now index the content within Android apps. The mechanism for doing so, they call, is app indexing.

App indexing allows webmasters to connect pages from your web sites with specific content within your Android app. This enables Android smartphone users who have your app installed to open it directly from relevant mobile search results on Google.

Here is a picture of it in action:


For example, a webmaster who has a recipe website and an Android app can benefit from this. When a Google searcher on a mobile device is shown one of your recipes as a search result, they will now be able to open that result directly in your app if they have it installed.

This currently works on the Google Search App version 2.8+ for Android 4.1+, and in mobile browsers on Android if the user is signed in. Plus, Google is only testing this with a select number of publishers. If you want to be included in this test, fill out this form.

Technically, to get this working, you need to configure both your website and your app to define the relationships between them. This is done by:

(1) Annotating app links for each page on your website (or through sitemap) that can be opened in your app to specify how the page’s content can be opened in the app.

(2) Adding intent filters for deep linking in your app manifest to specify how to reach specific content inside your app.

For the deep technical documents on how this works, see this page.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Mobile | Google: Web Search | Google: Webmaster Central | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • L. van Eembergen

    Wow, gives really great new opportunities, I’m wondering how long it takes that a complete cycle of website – mobile platform and apps are mandatory to perform perfect SEO.

  • Li Ma

    This is going to be a hot topic if Google opens this up to larger group of publishers! The only question I have is what will be displayed if the users don’t have the targeting app downloaded on their Android device? Will Google display a button to recommend downloading the app from Google Play?

  • Daniel Benny Simanjuntak

    Android supports http schemas, and by defining your own URL, you can deep link into the app. The benefit of this actually, is that you can open the link on the web (if you don’t have the app) and on the phone if you have it, so no loss of experience no matter what you do.

    On iOS it is called smartbanner, you can deep link into your app that way (But you must have the app installed). However, Apple broke smartbanner function in iOS7, I am hoping they fix it soon.

  • AzzamS

    Just applied. May take a leap in App based SEO

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