A new study by Searchmetrics shows that less than a third of the top 100 domains currently deploy app indexing in their apps despite the fact that it can potentially be a great boost to SERPs, traffic, interaction and conversions.
App indexing can effectively blur the lines between the closed-off ecosystem of apps and the internet, and Google has already stated that content within an app will be used as a signal in ranking if it is indexed. However, the study found that only 19% of the 88% of enterprises that have an iOS app and 30% of the 84% with an Android app have implemented it.
Searchmetrics said: “In this study, we found that while one industry is making significant use of app indexing, more than two-thirds of top ranking websites with an app are not using app indexing. This means it’s highly likely that your competitors’ apps don’t appear in search engine results. If you have an app for iOS or Android, now is the time for you to jump in and gain exclusive positioning.”
App indexing has been around since 2013, but has only been available to every publisher on Android and iOS since last year. To allow Google to index an app, one needs to implement deep linking, which provides a specific crawlable link for each of the pages within an app. The finance sector currently leads the way for deep linking on Android with around 40% of apps, while the publishing sector has less than 20%.
Indexing apps is increasingly important, as it can have a beneficial impact on a number of factors, including customer retention. For example, web searchers are more likely to install an app if it is indexed and they believe the content will be useful. The practice can also be a key part in analysing customers’ journeys, as enterprises are able to see the content that users are navigating to from search engines.
Searchmetrics CTO and founder Marcus Tober concludes “App indexing is a fantastic opportunity to maximse the investment in your app – by helping to drive more traffic and interaction and potentially even conversions.”