Bing intends to expand its index of search results to include content from mobile apps, the company stated in an announcement today. In fact, Bing is building what it calls a “massive index” of content from apps across all three major platforms — iOS, Android, and Windows.
Content on mobile apps typically exists in a vacuum, meaning its not crawlable, searchable, or indexable outside of the app itself. Google has made some progress with respect to indexing mobile app content, but even then it’s limited to only select Android apps.
Bing wants its users to be able to find mobile app content on its search engine regardless of what type of device they’re on. Bing calls this new functionality App Linking, and explains how SEOs can take advantage of it to encourage the installation of new apps:
“At first, you may ask yourself: how do I apply my SEO chops to apps? How can I as the web search person help drive app installs through search? Isn’t the app world all about app developer? And your app developer may be thinking “how can the web search folks help me”? Could it be there is a place where these worlds meet? There is, and it’s called App Linking!”
Bing outlines in its blog the technical markup SEOs and developers need to apply in order to make app content indexable and searchable. If you’re already familiar with using Schema markup on your website then these steps should feel relatively familiar.
If you want to take advantage of Bing’s App Linking, the company says the best time to apply the markup is right now. Bing is already crawling the web looking specifically for App Links and actions markup in order to build up its index of app content.
No exact timeframe was given for when searchers can expect to see app content indexed in Bing, though the company said it expects to start applying App Linking to its search results soon.