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Google is conquering in-app searches

At the Code/Mobile conference this week, Google's Amit Singhal announced that Google has now indexed over 100 billion pages within apps.

Published onOctober 9, 2015

Amit Singhal

Although the tech titan has expanded extensively from its roots, it’s no secret that Google still leans heavily on its core service as a search engine. Unfortunately for them, the mobile revolution has drastically changed the way that people locate information, and just this summer, mobile searches finally outstripped searches on personal computers in the U.S. and nine other countries.

Needless to say, this represents a pretty big problem for Google.

Nevertheless, the sultan of search has tackled this dilemma head-on. At the Code/Mobile conference this week, Google’s Amit Singhal announced that Google has now indexed over 100 billion in-app links, making them searchable. 40% of Android apps indexed in this way will now show up on mobile search results. This development may create friction between Google and Apple, who have had a lengthy search deal that is scheduled to expire in 2015. Apple is currently working to deliver a similar search feature to iPhone users that would display relevant information from the App Store at the top of mobile searches.

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Google demonstrating their ability to index in-app pages is an important step. Investors had previously been concerned about the growing shift from internet searches to in-app searches, and app developers needed proof that handing over their pages to Google is worth it. This is looking like good news for both parties. Optimizing search capabilities for mobile devices has long been a tough nut to crack. The traditional approach of leaning on keywords and providing relevant advertisements doesn’t work as well on mobile devices, where the smaller screen limits keyword-based ads.

Earlier this year, Google implemented a new feature that uses a panel of relevant images at the top of searches that can be scrolled through for similar content and related products. Integrating in-app content with web searches is a large step forward in making mobile searching better for users and advertisers alike.

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