Android: Google App Crawlers

Understanding the side effects of Google's app crawlers in your Android app.

With million of apps on the Google Play Store, developers need sophisticated ways to stand out. One of the common techniques is to let Google index an app with its crawler bot.

This will make the app contents searchable by Google, however, this has some effect on analytics captured by third parties, including Sailthru Mobile.

These are the known side effects:

  • App crawlers will count as an install
  • App crawlers will affect sizes of audiences
  • App crawlers that trigger app actions, may register custom attributes and/or events
  • App crawlers that trigger intents (for example by following a deep link), may register custom attributes and/or events

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No impact on billing

App Crawlers will not count towards your MAU figures, and thusly won't affect your billing.

Disabling App Crawlers

If these side effects are not desirable, you can create a noindex.xml file in your app. For more information on this, check out how to refine indexing with noindex.xml in the Firebase reference.

You can learn more about App Indexing on Google's developer documentation.


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