Google has removed a feature within Google Search Console for mobile apps, specifically the fetch as Google feature. Google announced the departure of this feature on Google+ about 24 hours ago saying “to avoid unnecessary duplication, we’ll be turning off the old “Fetch As Google for Apps” feature in Search Console.” And just like that, it is gone.
I don’t see any other way to get a fetch as Google feature in the Firebase app indexing docs – so maybe I am missing where the “unnecessary duplication” is with this feature?
In any event, Google originally added this feature in May 2015. A year later, Google renamed Google App indexing to Firebase app indexing and slowly we saw Google spend less and less time on search with app indexing.
Here is what the feature looked like, which showed app developers how Google was able to index the content on any app URI.
The feature is now completely gone and we are left with just Search Analytics and Crawl Errors for now:
Oh, we do have native apps for this site that work pretty well. You can download them for iOS or Android for free and we will send you important push notifications of breaking stories (we don’t send too many notifications).
Forum discussion at Google+ and Twitter.