According to the latest news (a story at TechCrunch), Apple is introducing some major changes into their search engine in the App Store.
Previously, the search engine worked on a keyword basis. Every search term was compared against the names of all the apps in the App Store. The app with the most relevant name was displayed as the top listing.
App developers quickly realized what the construction of the search engine was, so they started to create the most keyword-rich names for their apps possible.
Essentially, this is how Google used to work back in the day. It wasn’t long before people started to take advantage of this by stuffing hundreds of keywords in their pages.
There’s a similar story with the App Store, so Apple has decided to introduce some ranking factors that would help to make the results more relevant to the average user.
What this means is that from now on keywords are less important, and just because your app is called “cheap flights finder” doesn’t mean that it will be the first results for “cheap flights.”
What matters now are various other factors indicating the quality of a given app. From now on, to have a high ranking app you’ll have to attract a big number of initial downloads, receive some good ratings and comments.
What This Means?
App creators can have hard time reaching some initial popularity. These changes essentially mean that bigger, older, more popular apps will now receive better rankings for new keywords.
Exactly how much more difficult it will be to become popular is impossible to predict, but some keywords are bound to become much more crowded.
This also means trouble for some tightly localized apps. Like, for example, if you’re promoting an app for finding “parking space in San Francisco” you can find a lot of general apps being in direct competition with you.
As always, the changes roll out gradually, country by country. The App Store operates in many regions of the world, where people’s preferences are different and require a different approach.
How to Survive Promoting Apps?
When promoting apps, you should focus on different means of promotion instead of just taking action inside the App Store. Try to attract your initial stream of customers through different channels, like: advertising, social media, etc. Relying on the App Store itself can become much more difficult than it was just a minute ago.