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Google Deep links

One of the biggest challenge for Google, after the huge entrance in the apps world, was to remove barriers between users of the web browsers and search engines, integrating both interfaces inside the user search experience. 

Google tracking promise

2012: Google promise to index mobile apps content into the search engines in 2012. Unfortunately, current technology is based on hiperlinks. Because of this, it was impossible to relate apps and website contents.

2014: Google fulfilled its promise for Android apps and devices two years ago. They discovered an optimal way to integrate both environments as a result of the last indexation limitations. It was through an API called Mobile App Indexing API.

2015: until this year it was imposible to implement the API to index app content in devices and iOS apps. For the moment, it is only ready for a few mobile apps but the iOS App for App Indexing will be used for all of them shortly.

Mobile App Indexing API

The main difference is that this API reports Google where the content is inside the app and which is de URL inside the website. So users can be directed to the website or the app (with the same content), in case they have previously installed it.

This functionality allows users to Access directly from the browser to some parts inside the app, thanks to the Google shortener and the Mobile App Indexing API.

These are that we called deep links.

Ejemplo enlaces hacia App

Google short links can be used with unique links for all content, even if is inside website or in an Android and iOS App.

This progress will allow the user interacting with the website and the app, something very advantageous because it will enable to share links between users that have an installed app to access directly to the content without losing time and optimizing user experience.

At the beginning this API works only with Android devices and apps but it has just released the iOS version.

This great progress means that the lines between apps and websites are blurred.

Mobile App Indexing API Activation for Android

To include the API inside It is necessary to follow this steps.

  • Include Deep links with with <intent-filter> or intentional filter. This should include <action> tags to indicate the intention action, <data> for indicate deep link format and and <category> with the intention “Browsable” if you want to execute action through a browser or “default” if you want to execute action from other website.

Intentional filter examples

  • To link your app with the website through the Google Play Developers Dashboard. Follow these steps.
  • To indicate each app deep link from de designated URL in your website, with deep links or in the sitemap. It could be done in these ways:  
    • Insert a <link> into the <head></head> from the designated URL.
    • Insert an <xhtml:link> in the <url> from the URL.
    • Use the API from apps indexation. You can learn to use it from this guide.
    • Open Google Webmaster Tools and probe that there are not mistakes.

Mobile App Indexing API Activation for iOS.

To include this API in a iOS app, it will be necessary to follow this steps.

  • Add “schema” tags to the app and configure the SDK. Follow these steps.
  • Add Google Deep links to make Google shown apps content linked to a website. You can see how to do it here.


Once you have done the configurations, last step is to ask Google for a test. You can ask for your app admission in this Google update just filling this form.