As 2016 approaches, a new topic has taken over the discussion of internet marketing. Google’s “App Indexing” and ranking is poised for a serious overhaul, and SEO companies are acknowledging that this will consume a lot of attention in the coming months. App developers will need to know what’s on the horizon if they want their work to get results.
In this article, 360 breaks down some of the key differentiators between how Google ranks app content versus web content. Read on to learn from one of the prominent players of internet marketing.
App Indexing API supplants Google PageRank for app ranking
Google treats apps and app-only content quite differently. This kind of content doesn’t share the basic ranking signals used for web rankings; specifically, Google omits links, anchors, and PageRank signals when deciding where apps rank. Rather than relying on PageRank data, Google looks to metrics from the Google App Indexing API.
What does the App Indexing API do?
The App Indexing API does a lot. First, it allows developers to communicate title and option descriptions for the content pieces within the app. It also shares data on how long app users spend on the various pages within your app.
The developer has to provide start and end times for each action or “fragment.” These tell Google how long users are spending on specific views or actions within the app. It’s unclear how reliable these metrics are as ranking signals, but players in internet marketing have suggested that the number of users and frequency of these actions can impact Google’s determination of how authoritative or important a specific app action is. Some proponents of internet marketing have suggested that this will be an easy system to exploit, but they forget Google’s outstanding spam-detection processes.
App Crawlers are a now a thing
If you’re part of the industry of internet marketing, you’re already very familiar with web crawlers, but did you know that Google has recently launched their app crawler software?
App crawlers operate under the normal user agent of GoogleBot. It crawls app content in a similar style as you’d see with most web crawlers, and it’s capable of understanding URIs and content within different sections of your app.
iOS vs Android Apps – Does it make a difference to Google?
Without a doubt, Google has more access to the content of Android apps than they do to their iOS counterparts. As an example, the Google Search Console “fetch and render” feature only works with Android apps.
That doesn’t mean iOS apps are in any significant trouble, though. Google’s App Indexing API can be directly integrated with any and all iOS apps. It allows developers to communicate what their app and app sections are about to Google via the API. So long as iOS developers add this to their apps, they should be fine.
The bottom-line: App Indexing API is the Key to App SEO
It goes without saying, if you’re looking for internet marketing to support your app ranking, App Indexing API is the way to go.
To learn more about our approach to internet marketing. visit https://www.360businesslocal.com/services/mobile/.