Apple Changes Ranking Algorithm For App Store Searches?

TechCrunch reports Apple seems to have changed how they rank apps within the App Store search results.

Prior, having the keyword in your app’s name would tend to work well in terms of ranking the app in the app store. Now, according to several app developers, Apple is also ranking the apps based off of download numbers and maybe even reviews.

It seems as if Apple is weighing the app names and keywords less in their app store search ranking forumlas.

My company has several apps in the market, and I noticed a ranking change for several of the apps. Whereas some of my paid apps that had really high rankings saw a small drop in rankings replaced by free apps that likely have many more downloads.

The poplar example is searching for a [city] plus parking keyword phrase, like [chicago parking]. Notice how Best Parking is number one, then Central Parking, followed by an app named [Chicago Parking].

I’ve tested this on a few of my apps and there definitely seems to be a change in ranking, where free apps with higher download rates are currently ranking higher even for keywords that do not match best.

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Related Topics: Apple | Channel: SEO | Search Engines: Mobile Search Engines | Search Marketing: Mobile | SEO: Mobile Search


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • TomJTaylor
  • RyanMJones

    Hmm. I question if this will work long term. Won’t ranking based on # of downloads just ensure that whatever is #1 stays #1 and make it harder for new apps to crack into the rankings? 

  • Tomasz Kolinko

    shameless plug – in you can compare your previous rankings with your new rankings :)

  • Saptarshi Roy Chaudh

    There is ( and was) definitely much more to the mere volume of downloads  as the ranking factors – if they would only depend on the volume then new apps would hardly have a chance. Frequency of downloads (along with volume) has always been a key factor in Apple Appstore rankings and I think it will still work..


    I wonder why they are doing this.  They shouldn’t mess with the algorithm.  

  • Licitatii Juridice


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