Google is now reportedly indexing Facebook's mobile app as part of its app indexing efforts.
Google has been encouraging app developers to utilize its app indexing resources to enable mobile users to get to content within apps from Google search results. Google has even made app indexing a ranking signal.
Apparently Facebook wasn't getting involved until now. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook is now allowing Google to crawl in-app content. Of course the content is the same stuff Google was already accessing on the web version, such as public profile information. From the report:
The agreement means that results from Google searches on smartphones will display some content from Facebook’s app, including public profile information. The listings will appear as “deep links” that will take users to the relevant part of the Facebook app, the spokeswoman said.
Google can’t show content shared through logged-in and private Facebook app sessions, meaning it is still locked out of most information inside the walled garden of Facebook’s social network. For those searches, users will have to use Facebook’s search service, which it recently updated.
Facebook has been going to great lengths to improve its own search service. The company recently announced some major improvements to search across personal connections and public posts, and is now testing in-profile search.
It's unclear from the Journal's report whether Google is indexing Facebook's app on just Android, just iOS, or both. The ability to index Android apps has been around for a longer time, but Google recently expanded its efforts to include iOS.
For more on app indexing, view our related coverage here.
Image via Google Play