App Indexing & The New Frontier Of SEO: App Packs & App Store Search
In this third and final installment of a series on app indexing and how it impacts search engine optimization, contributor Emily Grossman discusses how to rank apps in Google search results, as well as in Google Play and the iTunes App Store.
SEOs who are not paying attention to apps are missing a large part of the mobile SEO picture. Even if your company does not have an app, recent changes to Google mobile results allow apps to compete with your website for the same rankings. In many cases, app results are winning.
In addition to Google’s Deep Linking changes, which focus on crawling and ranking internal app screens, there have been significant changes to the way Google ranks entire apps, often directly at the top of the search results.
The inclusion of App Packs in mobile search results has dramatically improved app discovery in Google. Now, 27 percent of people find apps through web search, compared to just two to three percent in 2014.
Beyond that, Google is further minimizing the Google Play Store by testing Android app downloads directly from search results. Despite these gains in mobile web search, 40 percent of people still find apps by searching the OS-specific app stores (the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store), so the app stores and app store optimization are still a critical part of any app marketing strategy.
Apps and app deep linking have changed mobile SEO substantially, especially in the past nine months, and their impact has become much more visible.
This is the third in a series of articles designed to demystify the important linkages between SEO and app marketing. The first and second articles focused on how to use deep linking and app indexing to drive discovery of deep app screens in iOS9 Apple Search and in Google Search.
This article will explain how to rank entire apps in Google search results, called App Packs, as well as in the OS-specific app stores, Google Play and the iTunes App Store.