Google Brings App Indexing Support To iOS Apps

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After almost two years of supporting App Indexing for Android Apps, Google is now supporting iOS apps with the App Indexing protocol. Google announced support for iOS apps this morning, with a subset of apps, as Google describes it, “an initial group of apps” will be testing iOS app indexing with Google.

App Indexing is a system that allows people to click from listings in Google’s search results into apps on their Android smartphones and tablets, and now into their iOS apps on their smartphones and tablets.

In short, app developers need to add markup to their apps, submit a special sitemap file to Google via the Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) and verify their apps.

Google said iOS users will begin seeing these initial groups of apps show up in their search results both in the Google App and Chrome for signed-in users globally in the coming weeks.

Here is a picture of how it may look:

OpenTable Side-by-side

As of right now, you can’t get your iOS app into this group of apps. But you can get a head start, by preparing your app for iOS App Indexing with Google. Here is how:

  1. Add deep linking support to your iOS app.
  2. Make sure it’s possible to return to Search results with one click.
  3. Provide deep link annotations on your site.
  4. Let us know you’re interested. Keep in mind that expressing interest does not automatically guarantee getting app deep links in iOS search results.

Google uses app indexing as part of their mobile ranking factor, so there is potentially a lot to gain by adding this markup.

For more on Google App Indexing, click here.

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