Bing is trying to make it easier for mobile application developers to get their apps found in search results. It’s expanding its “Actions Intelligence” to Bing and other Bing-powered search products, such as Cortana, and creating a “massive” index of apps and app actions.
To make it easier for developers to participate, it’s utilizing standardized markup, which developers can use on their websites to establish the link between content and apps and between content entities and the actions that apps perform on them. Bing is utilizing App Links, which Facebook launched last year as an open source project, and Schema.org.
They have an new tool in the Bing Webmaster Tools pubic tools area. It’s called the Applinks Markup tester, and shows you how Bing extracts the App Links data from your page and performs a validation process.
“Expressing the relationship between entity, action, and your app using schema.org is a bit more involved than App Links markup, but it is extremely powerful in that it allows your web page as well as app to rank a whole new range of entity action-oriented queries,” he says. “Naturally, your app developer needs to do also do some work to open the app with in the right location, and this work is usually specific to the platform or device. I dedicated a section of my App Discovery talk at Build 2015 to this very topic. The talk was geared towards enabling app deep linking and app actions on Windows 10 and Cortana. However, the applinks.org website has detailed instructions on the navigation protocol on iOS and Androidas well and Bing is creating an app index that covers all of these platforms.”
Read this blog post for much more on implementing all of this.
Bing has already started analyzing the web for App Links and actions markup, and is telling people to get started right away. It’s also readying mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, not unlike Google, which recently announced app indexing as a ranking signal on Android devices.