In December Google started indexing Android app content in Google search, meaning if you searched for information about a movie you could open the relevant result in your IMDB app directly from the search results page.
Initially this feature was only available in the United States for use with a select number of apps. Google made an announcement yesterday stating app deep links will now be available for globally, and they have expanded the feature to work with 24 additional apps.
Google’s announcement states:
Whether you’re searching for a movie, an apartment, restaurant, shoes, news article, book, recipe, or even a job, you can now go directly to the relevant content within apps that you’ve installed on your phone.
The official list of new apps enabled to work with this features include 500px, AOL, BigOven, Bleacher Report, Booking.com, Eventbrite, Glassdoor, Goodreads, Huffington Post, Merriam-Webster, Pinterest, Realtor.com, Seeking Alpha, TalkAndroid, TheFreeDictionary, The Journal, TripAdvisor, Tumblr, Urbanspoon, Wattpad, YP, Zagat, Zappos and Zillow.
Google says they will continue to get more apps on board in all languages.
If you’re an app developer and haven’t added deep link support to your Android app, or specified these links on your website or in your Sitemaps, Google suggest that you do so and then notify them by filling out this form.
Google also provided a list of best practices to consider when adding deep links to your sitemap or website:
- App deep links should only be included for canonical web URLs.
- Remember to specify an app deep link for your homepage.
- Not all website URLs in a Sitemap need to have a corresponding app deep link. Do not include app deep links that aren’t supported by your app.
- If you are a news site and use News Sitemaps, be sure to include your deep link annotations in the News Sitemaps, as well as your general Sitemaps.
- Don’t provide annotations for deep links that execute native ARM code. This enables app indexing to work for all platforms
- Make sure the back button behavior of your app leads directly back to the search results page.
If you wish to learn more about this feature, please visit this page in Google’s Search Help Center.