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Should native mobile apps be part of SEO strategy?
Zivush




msg:4601182
 4:33 am on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is known that Apps are closed environments and cannot be crawled by search engines and they won’t impact organic search ranking directly.
However, good Apps may work wonder to drive direct traffic to the website. Direct traffic is seen by search engines as an indicator of an authority/brand, which after a while can be translated to higher ranking.
I’d be interested to read webmasters experience about mobile apps and their impact.

 

goodroi




msg:4601271
 1:29 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

From my perspective too many webmasters are overly focused on the historic Google ranking factors. They are not paying attention to how Google is changing to a more holistic approach to ranking. IMHO Google is trying to pull in outside factors (like usage and direct traffic) into the secret formula because they tend to be harder to manipulate.

Personally I tend to stay away from mobile apps when trying to generate traffic signals. Mobile apps can drive direct traffic but in my experience they can also divert mobile web traffic away from the main site and towards the mobile app. Of course you could argue that mobile apps can boost branding which will then later boost type in traffic and branded search terms.

From my testing I do see a positive impact on Google rankings when I boost external traffic flows (not sure if this is direct or indirect correlation).

To encourage more direct traffic to my website from mobile users I do make sure the website is mobile friendly. Also I take the time to make nice apple icons to encourage repeat visits from mobile users who bookmark it (and also to stop those pesky 404 icon errors).

aakk9999




msg:4601274
 1:36 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mobile apps can drive direct traffic but in my experience they can also divert mobile web traffic away from the main site and towards the mobile app.


Maybe the trick is to write Mobile App to be a "teaser" for the website rather than website replacement? E.g. for a mobile app to give a very basic but well structured overview of the website, with more details being provided by links from mobile app to a particular website page?

Has anyone done that in this way? If so, any main website traffic feedback on this?

martinibuster




msg:4601293
 2:32 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Pretty much anything that introduces your site to more people is a good thing. Create something good then tell others about it. That's the heart of cultivating traffic. This is something I am active in on multiple fronts, high and low tech.

Will it impact Google rankings? Perhaps indirectly. I like activities that contain a latent possibility for indirect impact.

Zivush




msg:4601332
 5:15 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks martinibuster.
goodroi, my websites are already mobile friendly and contain home-screen clip icons.
As for apps, I am planning to create mobile apps such as - video tutorials, courses/guides, self-tests and graphical presentations, and more of these types. Each of this material will link to the website’s particular topics for giving extra information.
Is there anyone who has experience in apps and their indirect effect on SEO?

goodroi




msg:4601348
 6:23 pm on Aug 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Personally I tend to stay away from mobile apps when trying to generate traffic signals. Mobile apps can drive direct traffic but in my experience they can also divert mobile web traffic away from the main site and towards the mobile app. Of course you could argue that mobile apps can boost branding which will then later boost type in traffic and branded search terms.

From my testing I do see a positive impact on Google rankings when I boost external traffic flows (not sure if this is direct or indirect correlation).


Been there, done that, not going to repeat anytime soon.
Everyone's situation is different but as for the sites I am currently dealing with I would not use a mobile app to boost Google rankings. I do use mobile apps for other reasons.

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