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Making Your App Content Searchable by Google

Dependencies and prerequisites

  • Android 2.3 (API level 9) and higher

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Video

DevBytes: App Indexing

As mobile apps become more pervasive, users are looking for relevant information not only from web sites but also from apps they have installed. You can enable Google to crawl through your app content and present your Android app as a destination to users through Google Search results, when that content corresponds to a web page that you own.

You can make it possible for Google Search to open specific content in your app by providing intent filters for your activities. Google Search app indexing complements this capability by presenting links to relevant app content alongside links to your web pages in users' search results. Users on mobile devices can then click on a link to open your app from their search results, allowing them to directly view your app's content instead of a web page.

To enable Google Search app indexing, you need to provide Google with information about the relationship between your app and web site. This process involves the following steps:

  1. Enable deep linking to specific content in your app by adding intent filters in your app manifest.
  2. Annotate these links in the associated web pages on your web site or in a Sitemap file.
  3. Opt in to allow Googlebot to crawl through your APK in the Google Play store to index your app content. You are automatically opted-in when you join as a participant in the early adopter program.

Note: Currently, the Google Search app indexing capability is restricted to English-only Android apps from developers participating in the early adopter program. You can sign up to be a participant by submitting the App Indexing Expression of Interest form.

This class shows how to enable deep linking and indexing of your application content so that users can open this content directly from mobile search results.

Lessons

Enabling Deep Links for App Content
Shows how to add intent filters to enable deep linking to app content.
Specifying App Content for Indexing
Shows how to annotate web site metadata to allow Google's algorithms to index app content.