Last fall, Google began testing app indexing, and released guidelines for webmasters to have Google index deep links within their app. This is so users searching Google from smartphones can get to in-app content (if they have the app installed) just as they would website content.
Google announced on Thursday that it has enabled over 24 more applications that users will start seeing in search results. These include: 500px, AOL, BigOven, Bleacher Report, Booking.com, Eventbrite, Glassdoor, Goodreads, Huffington Post, Merriam-Webster, Pinterest, Realtor.com, Seeking Alpha, TalkAndroid, TheFreeDictionary, The Journal, TripAdvisor, Tumblr, Urbanspoon, Wattpad, YP, Zagat, Zappos and Zillow.
They also made app deep links in English content available globally.
“We’re continuing to onboard more publishers in all languages” says Google software engineer Michael Xu. “If you haven’t added deep link support to your Android app or specified these links on your website or in your Sitemaps, please do so and then notify us by filling out this form.”
He runs down some best practices here.
“When Google indexes content from your app, your app will need to make HTTP requests that it usually makes under normal operation,” says Xu. “These requests will appear to your servers as originating from Googlebot. Therefore, your server’s robots.txt file must be configured properly to allow these requests.”
He also says you need to make sure your back button behavior leads back to the search results page.
Image via Google