Those who want to make the most of the full scope of Online Marketing should never underestimate the importance of apps. Different studies show that the amount of app usage, as well as the number of app users, is steadily rising. One study from Statista reveals that 41% of mobile users install mobile apps on their phones themselves, and use these apps regularly. How often and readily these installed apps are used varies widely, as does the amount of time spent using each app.
App or Mobile Website?
There is no catch-all answer to the issue of whether the price and effort of creating an app is worth it for everyone.
Many website owners are of the opinion that a mobile version of their website is entirely sufficient, whereas others want the full package and opt for both a mobile website and an online app, in order to be found more readily online.
Google has appeared to be working very hard on both of these issues over the past few months.
From Mobile-Friendly to App-Indexing
Mobile-friendliness became a ranking factor in April 2015, as we talked about before in our article ‘The Mobile-Friendly Craze’. Since then, the mobile-friendly trend has grown and experienced several changes and further development. These changes have taken place not only in Google but across all the major search engines.
After all these changes, which pleased Google, its users, and Webmasters, the search engine giant’s next step was hardly unpredictable.
Apps in Google Searches
Apps are an important part of online usage and have been indexed by Google for quite some time. In this area, there have also been numerous changes over the past few months.
New Design for Mobile Results in App Searches
At the end of August, Google presented its newest design for mobile app search results. The result of this Image change is visible when one searches directly for an app in Google or enters a Search Term + app in the search field. The new design is characterized by a compact design, and a tiling window that contains 3 or 6 apps ‘above the fold’, and the option of seeing ‘More apps’ in the results.
Because most Webmasters have noticed this trend early enough, there has been an excess in promoting one’s own apps on mobile websites. So long as this mobile website is found for the search, the user will be presented with the download the app option in fullscreen.
To prevent this, Google responded with a possible penalty in ranking. From 1st November 2015, this kind of negative behavior will be penalized.
One should think seriously about whether or not an app is right for your business. If it does not add visible value to your company, it will be a process that is costly and time-consuming, and will not benefit, perhaps may even harm, your Google visibility.