uploads///Facebook and Google

Why Google’s App Indexing Service Redirects Users to Facebook

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Jan. 28 2016, Updated 7:05 a.m. ET

Crawl and index

So far in this series, we’ve discussed Google’ performance in 3Q15, analysts’ estimates for 4Q15, and the company’s attempt to make mobile search—its core revenue driver—relevant for users. In this article, we’ll continue with a discussion of Google’s partnership with Facebook.

Google (GOOG) has made rapid strides in indexing mobile apps, just as it has with web content. Google recently joined its biggest rival, Facebook (FB), to make users spend more time with the Google Search app. The agreement between the two giants will allow Android users to redirect from mobile search results—indexed by Google—to the Facebook app.

Facebook allows Google to “crawl and index” relevant links inside its Facebook app. Google’s App Indexing service acts as a bridge between a search engine and an app. It helps users find their content on Facebook through Google search queries.

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Deep link

Google’s App Indexing serves apps that have an available webpage to crawl through corresponding content. As a result, users get a “deep link” that will lead to relevant content in an app rather than a mobile webpage. The service is available for Android users.

Facebook has already made a search service available for users, but it fails to deliver the right content for users’ queries. Google’s collaboration with Facebook will likely attract other app publishers to make use of the service.

Twitter has already introduced similar technologies. Twitter’s (TWTR) mobile app install ads program involves sponsored ads from developers. The ads are meant to encourage people using mobile apps to install other apps.

The First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (FDN) could be affected by these developments. Its top four stocks are Amazon (AMZN), Facebook (FB), and Alphabet (GOOG), which constitute 11.5%, 10.4%, and 5.5%, respectively, of the portfolio.

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