Among the numerous announcements at the Google I/O developer conference this morning, Google said it was expanding its app indexing program to all Android apps and developers. App indexing allows for deep linking of app content from mobile web search results.
Previously, Google had only been indexing selected apps, although the program has been steadily growing and recently expanded into multiple languages.
If the user has the app in question installed, say OpenTable, and does, for example, a restaurant search, she can be linked from search results directly to the profile page within the OpenTable app.
On one level, this is useful for everyone. It makes in-app content discoverable through search and thus helps developers. It helps users by enabling them to quickly get to relevant content in their apps. It also helps Google make search more expansive and useful to the mobile user experience.
When apps weren’t indexed the search result and the corresponding click=through to a mobile website was a potentially suboptimal experience. With in-app indexing Google can deliver an overall better user experience.
Apps have threatened to bypass Google search in many use cases (“Why go to Google for restaurant search when you’ve got Yelp or OpenTable”?). Through this move Google seeks to reassert itself as a universal content-discovery tool for mobile — as it is on the PC.
You can find more coverage from today’s Google I/O 2014 on our partner site at Marketing Land, including a live blog of the keynote presentation: Google I/O 2014 Keynote: Android Everywhere: Watches, TV & In Your Car