Bing using App Links and Schema.org to help developers expose content in their apps in search results

Bing using App Links and Schema.org to help developers expose content in their apps in search results

The team at Bing recognizes there is a problem with the way people search for apps.

Presently, for most, users search for an app by name or general categories. There isn’t an efficient and direct model to search apps’ content and, importantly, search the actions an app can perform. This problem exists because an app’s content exists inside the app, walled off from the web in a silo of the app’s programming.

This renders what is inside the app invisible to search engines that scour the web for content. The result is searching for apps becomes an inefficient exercise of trial and error. Users have to download and experiment with an app to access the full content and understand the actions it can perform.

Today, the team at Bing announced they have developed a more efficient model for searchers to find apps. It involves “expanding its Actions Intelligence to Bing and Bing-powered search (including Cortana) and building up a massive index of apps and app actions.”

Bing plans to accomplish by utilizing two current open standards to build up its massive index of apps and app actions.

First, Bing wants to help app developers use App Links for Deep Linking markups with app content in a way that makes Bing able to index app content. Secondly, Bing wants to help app developers use Schema.org and its action vocabulary to help index the actions an app can perform.

Leveraging these open standards as App Links was popularized by Facebook to create relationships between URL’s and URI’s, and Schema.org has been supported and furthered by many of the major search engines, such as Bing, Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex.

For this inventive solution to ease the process of searching for apps, it requires app developers to start tagging their apps’ content and actions with these open standards in a way can be indexed by Bing. To help developers accomplish this, Bing has provided technical details and support pages listed on the Bing blog for today’s announcement. If you are interested head over to today’s announcement to see some examples of how to apply markups to your apps content and actions.

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