Google Play Includes Streaming Apps in Show Searches

August 31, 2018

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When users search for a television streaming app, they often search for the specific shows they want to watch. Google Play app developers attempted to take advantage of this by listing their app’s shows in the description, but now Google is giving them a boost by making TV apps show up in searches for the shows they stream. A recent update to the Google Play Store now places TV and streaming apps in searches for the shows they feature. This follows a similar update to Google Play Movies in March, which provided options to watch shows and movies on subscription-based websites such as Hulu or Prime Video from the website’s search. At the time, Google stated that the updates would eventually reach the Play Store, and that time is now. When users search the Play Store for a television show or movie, the first results will be from Google Play Movies (or Books, where relevant), as per usual. Following those, however, is a list of streaming apps that include the show as part of their services, with a line in italics stating that it is available for streaming on the app. While this is great news for users, since it makes it easier to search for a specific show and finding which streaming service has it, it’s great for developers too. From an App Store Optimization perspective, it opens new avenues for streaming apps to organically appear in searches. To target a specific show in Google Play, a developer needs to include that show in its description so Google’s algorithms can index it. For example, an app that includes “The Office” as an available show would want to include lines such as “Watch The Office,” “The Office episodes,” and a bullet list of shows it offers including “•The Office.” Following this update, Google also checks the streaming services to see what shows an app offers, then includes them in the list of apps under searches for that show. With this new update, the inclusion of an italicized line saying “(this show) available to stream” under each app helps users quickly find which apps will let them watch the show, rather than slogging through multiple apps with ringtones, fan quizzes and reaction images from the show. It will help improve traffic for those apps by making them easier to find and clearly relevant and may help increase subscribers by demonstrating what shows an app has available. With all of this in mind, developers should not simply remove listings of the shows their app features from its description. The keywords are still important for ASO and ranking well for highly-searched shows will help the app show up higher in searches for them. This update will enhance an app’s optimization for the shows it streams, but it is not a substitute for proper ASO. Developers of streaming apps will certainly benefit from this update, as it will help direct users to their apps whenever they search for a show. To get the most out of their app store listing, though, developers should still ensure they have a strong App Store Optimization strategy in place that includes the shows people are watching.

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