Today, mobile apps are probably the most fertile playground for innovative developers. Thousands of new apps are being created every day and millions are being downloaded all over the world. In this kind of competitive ecosystem, apps’ search rankings becomes hugely important.
More particularly, search rankings on Apple’s App Store that contains more than 700,000 apps and which is being used by hundreds of millions iOS users globally (about 350-400 million people estimated). You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that high App Store search rankings can potentially mean a giant app user-base.
If it wasn’t clear until now, it appears that the importance of the App Store’s search rankings became widely clearer to developers during the last weekend as Apple supposedly made some major algorithm update to its App Store search engine which caused some significant changes in apps’ downloads trending according to many developers.
While until the presumable update, the App Store search engine was mostly based primitively on the keyword in the app’s title and perhaps slightly in the description, there are now some indications that the algorithm received few more additional intelligent search signals in order to rank quality apps higher.
Although nothing has been confirmed yet by Apple, here are some of the search signals that apparently been added and now affects apps’ rankings on the App Store:
- The total number of the app’s downloads.
- Better category/topic detection.
- The app’s customer rating.
- Detection of positive or negative reviews.
The reactions and the general sentiment from the developers community to this update are currently seems positive as more developers claims that the change made the results better although some (the minority) are now claiming that it made them worst. In any case, the search update is mostly attributed to Chomp, the app search engine which Apple acquired on February.
I personally feel that upgrading the App Store’s search algorithm was much needed. Searching and discovering new apps on the App Store was a pretty frustrating task and I believe that many users were simply searching on Google and when finding the suitable app, they searched for its exact name on the App Store engine.
If the App Store search engine will prove to be quality enough, we just might find ourselves discussing much more about mobile apps SEO soon enough…