Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

What Google's Recent Announcements Mean for Your Apps

What Google’s Recent Announcements Mean for Your Apps

On February 26th Google announced they would be updating their algorithm for mobile search to penalize websites that were not mobile-friendly.

Since 60% of online traffic is from mobile devices, this represents a significant call-to-action for website managers to ensure mobile visitors to their sites have a good experience.

48% of search is from mobile devices, and Google wants to make sure these users are receiving useful results.  “Useful” now includes content that can be accessed without trying to navigate a site built for a 15″ screen.

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This isn’t just the little guys

In a recent report from Portent of the top 25,000 websites, 40% are not mobile-friendly.

These changes went live April 21st.

But what about my mobile app?

This update from Google was a bit different in that Google set a date for compliance, and shared tools for web managers to confirm compliance.

It was also two parts – with the 1st part grabbing all the attention. More people and businesses have websites that would be affected by a penalty than have app with un-indexable content.

Part 2 of the update was extremely important for mobile app publishers and marketers:

2. More relevant app content in search results

Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results, have a look at our step-by-step guide on the developer site.

While Google has a strong mobile OS play with Android, the content and functionality “locked” inside of app silos present a real problem for Google.

They want more data inputs.

Mobile is a data marketers dream

Unless a user is logged into an un-forked Android device, or in a Google app in iOS – Google does not have access to device-related data.

And unless the content “inside” of apps are indexed – Google is also locked out of mobile app content for search.

In the several 100 posts within 24 hours of Google’s algorithm update related to mobile-friendly sites, many encouraged readers to index their apps’ content for a better Google mobile ranking.

On April 16th, Google announced an update to their Feb 26th post related to “relevant app content in search results”:

Starting this week, people searching on Google can also discover your app if they haven’t installed it yet. If you’ve implemented App Indexing, when indexed content from your app is relevant to a search done on Google on Android devices, people may start to see app install buttons for your app in search results. 

Previously, mobile apps would only be displayed in mobile search results if the app was already installed.

Furthermore – Google added:

With the addition of these install links, we are starting to use App Indexing as a ranking signal for all users on Android, regardless of whether they have your app installed or not.

Indexing your Mobile Content

Indexing your mobile app content so it can be indexed, searched, interacted with from search and interact with other apps is becoming the big focus of 2015.

Facebook made a splash at their f8 conference showing how App Indexing and Facebook Messenger could be a huge boon to mobile publishers and users alike.

Google is now ranking mobile content regardless if a user has the device installed.

And there are signs that Apple will be adopting more robust App Indexing into iOS.

App Store Optimization and Search Engine Optimization – They Go Hand in Hand

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We’re all about helping developers discover new ways to drive adoption of their apps organically – because organic users are the best, most valuable users.  One of the best ways to do this is to optimize your keywords and drive high quality, honest reviews about your app from real end users. The reviews and ratings will be tied directly to the keywords associated with your app – as you have more reviews with relevent keywords, your rank will increase!  This is of course what Gummicube is all about.

Another method of promoting your apps organically is SEO (search engine optimization).  The reason that SEO is important in a mobile world is two-fold:

1.  Just like users search for apps in the App Store, many will “Google” for apps and you want to be at the top of the stack on the first page.

2.  We believe that in the future, App Store Search is going to incorporate some degree of “score” for back links and web-based metadata.

There have been suggestions that search in Google Play is already incorporating some of this web-based metadata into their app store search algorithm.  To be prepared for this important new “factor” in search based app discovery there are a few things that you can do:

- Have a great “squeeze page” online that is filled with great content and metadata.  If you are serious about app store success, you will need to throw up a WordPress site at a very minimum that is loaded with great, useful content for your end users.  Don’t forget to make the content keyword rich.

- Focus on the same keywords for both your SEO and your ASO efforts.  They will work together to make your app stand out and target the right audience.  For SEO, try to focus on 10 keywords or less that have meaningful traffic but low competition (if possible).  You can use the Google Keyword Planner to research keywords that will make a difference for your app.

Hint:  This is the same tool that many of the companies who provide keyword analysis for ASO use to determine traffic volume and relevance (they aren’t actually scraping search data from the App Store) and you’ll get it for free by getting to know how to use Google Keyword Planner.

- Write great press releases and distribute them everywhere.  There are a ton of websites and news organizations that cover apps as well as directories where you can submit your press releases.  Many have great “PR” (page rank) with Google, which can help boost up your own site rank.

This can seem like a lot of work for an independent developer – but not to worry – there are plenty of services that can help you optimize for SEO and submit your press releases to plenty of websites and news organizations.  One partner that we can recommend for this type of App Marketing is yourappreport. YourAppReport has a great track record of delivering results for a reasonable price and can help get your app the web coverage that you are looking for.

They also have a great free keyword analysis report that can give you tons of great high level data about your app/keyword/strategy.