At SMX West last week, Mariya Moeva from Google talked a great deal about app indexing in the Google search results. But she also touched on the area of app install cards/buttons that sometimes appear in the search results for mobile users… and more specifically, why we don’t see them as much anymore.
The app install cards don’t seem to show up as frequently as they used to when Google first launched the option. And it seems that might be because Google has changed it so that these install cards display on searches where there is clear intent that someone is searching for an app solution.
Moeva said that “App install cards get a ranking boost,” but that it was narrowed down “for strongly app-seeking queries.”
For example, a search for “Yelp” shows a prominent app install card at the top of the search results, while a search for “Yelp <location>” simply shows regular search results without the app install card showing up. This also matches what many people have reported, because there are some site owners with apps who expected to see their app install card to display for not only their business name, but for all queries that included their business name plus non-brand keyword searches where they rank well organically.
The decision Google made to only show the app install button for app-seeking queries could have also been made due to the number of people actually using and installing apps based on search queries. It is likely that not many people use Google (or any other search engine) specifically for app discovery, since both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store feature search engines specifically for finding apps.
— Jennifer Slegg (@jenstar) March 3, 2016
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