Simple tips to get your app indexed, ranked & installed

Do you have an app that you’d like to rank in mobile search engine results? If so, you’re going to need to make room in your SEO strategy for app optimization.
For apps, there are distinct ranking factors. Although they are similar to ranking factors for a standard web page, there are differences that you need to know about.
Here’s how you can optimize your app to get the best possible rank.
Yes, you need to optimize
According to a recent Google report, 27 percent of users find apps through a search engine. That’s up from 2 percent to 3 percent in 2014.
That trend will likely continue. Why? Because Google is emphasizing app downloads from search results while brushing aside Google Play as a search engine. Google has also become better at ranking apps, a trend we can expect to continue.
Even though 40 percent of people still find apps by searching in an app store as of now, it’s still a great idea to plan for the future

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Google: AMP will override app deep links for the foreseeable future

At SMX East yesterday, Adam Greenberg, the Global Product Partnerships at Google gave a talk about AMP. He said during the question and answer time that AMP pages will override app deep links for the “foreseeable future.”
Last week we covered how that when Google began rolling out AMP to the core mobile results that Google quietly added to their changelog that AMP pages will trump app deep links. In short that means when a user installed an app of a publisher, does a search on their mobile phone where the app resides, clicks on a link within the Google mobile results that could lead to the app opening up, instead, Google will show the AMP page – not the content within the app the user installed.
Google made several large pushes with App Indexing throughout the years. These were incentives to get developers to add deep links and App Indexing to their apps. Such as installing apps

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Google launches Trial Run Ads for apps in search results to let users play before installing

It was only a matter of time before Google brought app streaming to search ads. In the next few weeks, ads in Android search results will allow users to take games for a test drive before choosing whether to download them. The announcement was among several Google is unveiling on Monday during its Developer Day at Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.
AdWords Search Trial Run Ads will start appearing in Google search results within the next few weeks. The ads will have a “Try now” button in addition to a download button. Users who opt to try the app, will be able to play the game for up to 10 minutes before deciding whether to download it from the Google Play store.

Google began rolling out app streaming in organic search results more widely on Android devices earlier this year, with the “Try now” option to preview an app before downloading it. With so few apps ever used after being downloaded (Google says its just

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Searchmetrics study shows most apps are not utilizing the Google App Indexing API

Searchmetrics published a study on App Indexing showing that of the top 100 sites they monitor, very few actually deploy App Indexing in their apps.
The study showed that while 84 percent of the top 100 domains offer an Android app, and 88 percent of those web sites have an iOS app, only 30 percent of those Android apps deploy App Indexing and 19 percent of those iOS apps deploy App Indexing.
“Many companies have invested heavily in apps, yet on average 20 percent of the apps a person installs on their device are only ever opened once,” said Marcus Tober, CTO and founder of Searchmetrics. “App indexing is a fantastic opportunity to maximize the investment in your app — by helping to drive more traffic and interaction and potentially even conversions. On top of this, if your app supports app indexing, Google has indicated that it could potentially appear more prominently in searches.”
This is potentially a huge missed opportunity for these companies

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Discovering Opportunities To Drive Your Mobile Web & App Optimization Strategy

With the steady rise of mobile search, SEO practitioners these days need to consider how to optimize both their websites and apps for mobile search visibility.
Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update, released in April 2015, gave a boost in mobile search results to pages with good mobile user experiences. Along those lines, Google has sought to increase the visibility of app content within mobile search results through app indexing. Thus, it’s key to have a strategic approach to our mobile optimization efforts — both on our websites and apps.
The now more mature mobile web and app optimization tools make this analysis possible, and straightforward, too. For example, some of the tools that I use (which I’ll be discussing in this post) are as follows:

For cross-web-app mobile competitive analysis: SimilarWeb.
For mobile app analysis: Mobile Action, SearchMan, SensorTower and AppTweak.
For mobile web search analysis: SEMrush, SISTRIX, OnPage.org, SEOmonitor and URL Profiler.

Use the tools above (or your preferred alternatives) to answer the following mobile web and app search-related questions — doing so will help you identify more opportunities and potential, as well as establish an effective optimization strategy:
1. Which Are Your Industry’s

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Google Revamps The Android App-Indexing Crawl Errors Report In The Search Console

Google announced they have finally upgraded the App Indexing Crawl Errors report in the Google Search Console, after the report has not been working for months.
The company said it is “updating and simplifying the app crawl error types we show in Search Console.” The new report shows you three error types in the App Crawl Status report:
(1) Package not found (unchanged)
(2) URI unsupported (unchanged)
(3) Removed from index (new).
Google has reset the data in the report, so the data now goes back to December 11, 2015.
Here is a quote about the new report:
These are app pages that don’t meet our technical guidelines — for example, users get redirected to the home page or the app crashes when the user attempts to open the deep link.
To fix this, check the example URIs both in Fetch as Google and on an actual device, and make sure your app doesn’t crash on opening, the deep pages don’t redirect to the homepage,

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Google Search Console Analytics Report Now Shows App Install Button Data

Google announced on Google+ via Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji this morning a new feature for app developers within the Google Search Console. Now you can see in the Search Analytics report a new report for “search appearance” that shows you app install button clicks.
Google will sometimes show mobile users an app install button in the search results. Now, Google will show you how many people are clicking on that button and let you segment the data by keyword, country and other filters. The report doesn’t actually show you who completed the download of your app, but rather just those who clicked on the install button in the search results.
Here is a screen shot of the new report in the Google Search Console:

Again, you need to have your app verified in the Google Search Console to see this data.
Google said that this change may increase the total number of clicks and impressions you see in

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Facebook Now Using Google App Indexing To Drive Visitors From Search Into Its App

Facebook has long opened up some of its walled garden to Google, in order to gain Google traffic. Now Facebook is stepping up its search engine optimization game by implementing Google App Indexing to ensure it continues to get that traffic as the shift to mobile continues.
Facebook Loves Google Traffic
Facebook has allowed Google to index some of its content going back to at least 2007, when Facebook profile pages were opened up to Google and other search engines. “Indexing” means that Google can read all the content on these pages. In turn, when people search, these pages might appear in Google’s search results.
This indexing — known so well to search engine optimization (SEO) professionals — has benefits to both Google and Facebook. Google has more content that might satisfy what people are searching for. Facebook gets traffic from Google for free.
Over time, Facebook has opened up more of the content is has to Google, such as Facebook Comments in 2011. The

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Google Search Adds Support For App Indexing In Safari On iOS 9

Google App Indexing has allowed publishers to serve up links within Google’s search results on iOS that lead directly into their apps, but only for Chrome. Now, Google has announced similar support is coming to Safari, for those on iOS 9.
Spotted via VentureBeat, Google shared on its Google Developers Google+ page that iOS apps can now have deep links to their content appear when people do a Google search in Safari, with the right setup:
App Indexing is now compatible with HTTP deep link standards for iOS 9, as it has been on Android from the beginning. That means that you can start getting your app content into the Search results page on Safari in iOS, simply by adding Universal Links to your iOS app, then integrating with our SDK.
With this improvement, we will no longer support new integrations on iOS 7 and iOS 8. Users will start seeing your app content in Safari on iOS at the end of

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Could Deep Links To Apps Represent The Future Of Link Building?

Deep links have been a mainstay in the SEO community for more than a decade. Rather than pointing an external link to a home page, deep links point to a more specific internal page, such as a product page or a blog article.
This establishes greater diversity in your link profile, increases the page authority of individual pages, and gives users greater opportunities to explore more of your website’s content.
Traditionally, deep links have relied on networks of other Web pages, because until recently, that was the only place for them to exist. They might be embedded in an article, included in a forum comment, or even mentioned in a social media share.
Today, there’s a new kind of deep linking emerging, and it might pave the way for the future of link building — and SEO in general.
The Basic Premise
Instead of deep linking to an interior page of a website, the future of the industry could establish the importance of app-based

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