Google today announced a very exciting development in their goal to get mobile apps indexed for searching. Beyond a milestone of having over 100 billion deep links for results into mobile apps, It’s a new advancement that allows their search engine to find content in apps which don’t have a web counterpart, as well as stream that content in app form on the web.
For instance, before this change apps could only be indexed if the content in the app could be matched to a web link, kind of like how Phandroid’s home page articles match the articles in our app. Now, if Phandroid were its own standalone app without its own website, we could still get our links indexed and have the results show up in a search engine like anyone else.
This is great news for certain apps which might have some great info that only exists in app form. One such app is HotelTonight, an easy mobile-based hotel booking platform. Searching for rates on Google would never bring up HotelTonight results, but that is no longer the case.
And that’s not even the best part of it — Google has announced that they have the ability to show those results the way they’d show up within an app. This is thanks to a new app streaming platform Google is experimenting with. Taking the HotelTonight example again, you’d be able to jump through the HotelTonight app in your browser as if you had the app natively installed on your phone.
This would allow you to not only see all the info you’d see in the real app, but even sign up and book hotel rooms. Liked the experience and want to have it downloaded on your phone for use at a moment’s notice? Google makes it easy to download the app from Google Play.
This is a huge step for Google. It marries search and apps in a way that’s seamless, efficient and all-inclusive. Google’s goal is to be able to get everything you need with a simple Google Search, and this is one of the biggest ways they’ve achieved that to date.
Google says HotelTonight is part of a small group of partners helping to test this new functionality. They join Chimani, Daily Horoscope and New York Subway in the early going. That’s a rather small list, but it’s important to remember that it’s only experimental, and Google suggests we stay tuned. We definitely will.