Google search for Android users now includes app content in search results. Search results will now include options to view the content within an installed app, or allow users to quickly install an app into their Android device.
Initial App Content Indexing in October 2013
Google started indexing app content for a select group of developers toward the end of October 2013. This allowed Googlebot to crawl and index app content within Android apps. Developers can specify which app content they want Google to index using Webmaster Tools or their existing Sitemap files.
Opening and Installing Apps from Search Results Pages
If users already have the app installed, the search results will also include an “Open in App” link, which will allow them to fire up the app and view the content there.
The “Open in App” feature is still only available for a handful of apps, including:
If users don’t have the app installed, Google will display information on the app, including user ratings, and a link to the app’s install page.
Google says that finding apps in search results is only available to Android 2.3+ users in the U.S., but the screenshot above was taken on my own Android device. The app links definitely show up in search results, but I have not tested any of the apps with “Open in App” feature enabled.
Google’s VP of Engineering, Scott Huffman, says that “This is just one step toward bringing apps and the web together, making it even easier to get the right information, regardless of where it’s located.”