Steve Jobs may claim that people are using mobile apps instead of search engines on their phones — but Google (NSDQ: GOOG) obviously doesn’t believe one has to come at the expense of the other. The company is adding apps to its mobile search results, so that Android and iPhone users who enter an app-related query — like “Download Shazam” or “Bank of America app” — will see a link to download the app at the top of the results, providing an alternative to the built-in search functions on both the Android Market and iTunes App stores.
In a blog post introducing the feature, Google acknowledges the proliferation of mobile apps and says “finding relevant information on the web about these apps is becoming more important to help you decide which apps to download.” Indeed, Google has never suggested that apps are somehow cannibalizing mobile searches. Instead, the company has repeatedly talked about the growing volume of Google searches being done on phones.
Expect app results to come to Google’s web search next, considering the company is in the midst of launching a web app store and it would make sense to tie that into its search engine in some way.