Google will now promote apps to Android phone users in mobile search, even if they haven't yet installed the app.
The search giant announced yesterday that its App Indexing feature will now display an install button for recommended apps as part of search results. The button, accompanied by details of the recommended app, will appear when users enter relevant search queries.
When users click the button, they are sent to the Google Play store to download the app.
App Indexing allows Google to index in-app content, much like a website. It launched in 2013, but was thrust into the public eye with the announcement of Google's mobile-friendly algorithm in February. As part of the algorithm launch, indexed content from apps will appear more prominently in search results.
This development is almost certainly related to the mobile-friendly algorithm too, with Google gearing up for the roll-out on Tuesday.
Google says that, as well as introducing these install links, it is "starting to use App Indexing as a ranking signal for all users on Android, regardless of whether they have your app installed or not". We take this to mean that these app recommendations will appear as prominently as indexed app content.
App creators must have App Indexing set up in order to benefit from the ranking boosts.
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