App Store Rankings Manipulated by Developers

February 12, 2015
App Development,Tech News

App Store Rankings Manipulated by Developers

Fighting a Losing Battle

It’s not a new conspiracy to anyone from inside the app development world, that rankings are being fixed. The photo above was leaked earlier this month showing an Asian woman manipulating app store rankings with a deck of iPhone 5c’s connected to what would appear like one charging station – AppPhone Warehouse.

A Failing System

From the beginning of the search engine world, developers and savvy internet marketeers have been inventively conjuring up new ways to trick the system. The app store is in fact a search engine just like Google, only far less advance. Back in the early days of Google and Yahoo Search, it was possible to do all kinds of ridiculous tricks to fire your page up in the rankings, one of them being link building.

After years of experience, everyone else has flagged onto these methods and they are becoming increasingly more difficult to pull off. With Apple, you are capable of naming your app the longest most horrendous name including all the top keywords, as well as using keywords in the backend (code part which you won’t see) to drastically increase your chances of being noticed. The more keywords you have, the more searches you appear within. 100 keywords max, but the name of your app could gain you way more! Please note Android similarly allow a 64 character name. Ew.


The Killer App Manipulation Strategy

For the average indie developer trying to break into the gaming world of app development, things have proven close to impossible. For those that can afford an army full of iPhone 5 C’s, it’s possible to smash your competitors into ‘no mans land’ (the app graveyard of the store).

Your average developer has to do their very best to create the most attractive and interesting product. And with their best efforts hope to dear God enough people find it and organically promote through social media.

The Price of Manipulation

An Asian website has estimated the cost of just one day in the top 10 at £7,300.00 meaning that 1 week is a staggering £51,100.00. Pocket change huh?

Our Thoughts

While Apple aren’t entirely to blame as it does include Android and many others, it is obvious this is an issue needing addressed. If Google can optimise their main body, then do the same for the store! Struggling newcomers to the market deserve to be noticed and given the chance they were expecting. Primarily this is within the game development side of the store so it isn’t all doom and gloom, and I’m personally thankful our market here at Viper Apps isn’t primary gaming.

So, maybe it’s about time you scrolled further down into your searches rather than hitting with the main stream. You might find a gem.

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