Bing Quietly Rolls Out App Linking, Connecting Search Results To App

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With Google, Facebook and Twitter heavily promoting ways to promote apps within search and ads, few are taking notice of Bing’s efforts on that front.

Bing has offered Bing App Linking since at least March 2014 but no one has really noticed.

App Linking works in a similar way to Google App Indexing but specifically designed to work within Bing’s search results and directly link to Windows or Windows Phone apps.

Bing says:

Link your app to Bing search results on Windows and Windows Phone to boost your app’s discoverability and engagement.

Add your app’s Windows and/or Windows Phone Store URL as a Connected Page and your app will be displayed in website-level results (e.g. contoso.com) for Windows 8.1 Smart Search and Windows Phone search. If you go to the App Linking page, you will see the App Link check-box selected for apps that you have added through the Connected Pages feature.

The technical documentation on how this works can be found over here. This will enable developers to integrate their app content with Bing’s search results. This way, if the user has your Windows app installed and they are searching in Bing and find content that matches your app, the click may take them into your app, as opposed to a web site.

Here is a screen shot of the user behavior from a Windows device and a Windows phone device, respectively.

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A Microsoft representative told us:

Bing App Linking is a great way to help businesses and developers with discoverability of their app, and is great for consumers by surfacing relevant apps within search results to help them get things done quickly. We’ve been pleased with the user response to App Linking and will continue to make investments in this area.

Google has recently rolled out globally ad support for app promotions within the search, display and YouTube ad networks. Twitter has expanded their app install product and so has Facebook. Google also has rolled out app indexing globally.

  (Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)

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