Searching For Mobile Apps May Be In The Cards

Twitter Cards Image from Marketing Land

Mobile Application Search in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play is frustratingly similar to general online search in the early 2000s — and the tactics used to make them visible in search resuls also closely mirror the SEO best practices from that era.

Searching for and discovering the right apps is a concern for both developers and mobile users, which may recently have been dealt a helping hand from Twitter with its App Cards.

How Do Twitter App Cards Work?

Currently, you need special approval from Twitter for the app card program, although this should be generally available by May 2013.

Once admitted into the app card program, anyone who Tweets a link to a page or pages that you have designated will have an app card added to the Tweet, which is visible to followers when the tweet is viewed on their Android or iOS device.

You can designate a page (such as your Homepage, About, or App page) by including these Twitter META tags in the HEAD portion of the page code, similar to the Open Graph tags used predominantly for Facebook.

Card Property Description Required
twitter:card Must be set to a value of “app” Yes
twitter:description You can use this as a more concise description than what you may have on the app store. This field has a maximum of 200 characters. Yes
twitter:app:id:iphone String value, and should be the numeric representation of your app ID in the App Store (.i.e. “307234931″). Yes
twitter:app:id:ipad String value, should be the numeric representation of your app ID in the App Store (.i.e. “307234931″). Yes
twitter:app:id:googleplay String value, and should be the numeric representation of your app ID in the App Store (.i.e. “307234931″). Yes

Twitter will then link to the appropriate app store based on the device type the Tweet is viewed on. What this means is that the same Tweet will go to the Google Play location of the app for an Android user, while going to the Apple App Store location for an iOS user.

As this evolves past its trial period, it should be a great revenue generator for Twitter as it charges for impressions/clicks; but, why is this necessary with search engines and app stores presently?

How App Search Works Now

App stores, in varying degrees, leverage the following factors in displaying an app from a search query:

  • Keywords in the App Title
  • Keywords Assigned
  • Number & Velocity of Downloads
  • Number & Velocity of Uninstalls
  • Number & Velocity of Inactives
  • Number & Quality of Reviews with Comments
  • App Publisher History
  • Social Mentions

Google’s standard SERP recognizes the mobile searcher’s user agent in order to display a direct link to an app download based on the query and standard algorithm factors… that is, when the respective app store provides the proper server headers or doesn’t suffer chronic downtimes :)

How Do These Twitter Cards Help App Search?

Social mentions — combined with the assumed downloads, comments, and lack of uninstalls — will be sure to help the app’s rankings in respective app stores, all the while helping with visibility in standard search.

Now that Twitter has opened itself to be indexed by Google, as well as allowing a direct feed into Bing, these Twitter app card links can be crawled to help increase rankings in the standard SERPs, both as a linking and social mention frequency factor.

This is such a great idea for social platforms from an advertising revenue standpoint that I can envision it being quickly emulated by Facebook and Google+.

From a search marketer point of view, this is also great as it provides added META information to be optimized toward achieving added visibility to apps/products online.

Perhaps next, we can have an App Store for people.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Mobile | Mobile Search | Search Engines: Mobile Search Engines | SEO: Mobile Search


About The Author: is a SEO Manager at Covario, SEO course instructor at San Diego State University, contributor to The Art of SEO : Mastering Search Engine Optimization published by O’Reilly and owner of Mobile Martin based out of San Diego, California.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide