Apple Possibly Incorporating App Ratings into App Store Rankings
Over the past several months, Apple has made significant changes to the App Store. Those changes have already shown a difference in app rankings, and now app ratings may be another added factor.
Changes over time
Apps started off being ranked by volume and velocity. However, there are many tools out there that were able to generate false downloads and provide inaccurate ratings. That is believed to be why Apple is changing their algorithm and adding in additional features.
Since the release of iOS 6, the App Store no longer had the “categories” search function. Instead, users were able to search for apps based on Genius results. This feature has the ability to provide users with a more defined search feature than ever before.
Also, ASO (app store optimization) was another vital change to the App Store. Similar to the way search engines work; Google changes their algorithms to make websites work for better rankings, by providing relevant, reputable information to users.
Apple decided to do the same. They changed the design and layout of how the apps would be displayed, and it’s minimal information is provided to the users. Developers now have to focus more on keywords, app description, and their screen shots.
How will rankings affect ratings?
This will come to no surprise for most people, as it was anticipated, but many wonder how this will affect their apps. Even though this hasn’t been confirmed as a permanent change, many believe Apple is just testing the waters.
According to Fiksu’s research, these changes were noticed around late July when apps were noticing a change in their ranking without a change in downloads. They later discovered it was due to the apps ratings.
If the app receives a rating of 4+ stars, it received a boost in their rank, but apps that received less than 3 stars got the boot, dropping rashly. Apps that stayed between the two extremes didn’t seem much of a change.
Another change will be the App Store’s positioning will update every 3 hours instead of every 15 minutes – to the public. However, it is still undetermined if the algorithm is going to be updating and on a different schedule, which should be a much bigger concern.
Better quality, better ranking
This should be considered a positive change to the App Store. For one, developers should be rewarded for their good quality apps and putting forth the effort to market their app accordingly. Secondly, consumers can now benefit from having apps highly ranked that would be worth their time and purchase.
Every factor discussed is important to app rankings. Listening to other users and their feedback isn’t always promising, but you can usually determine if an app is good or bad based on the ratings.
What are your thoughts on this possibility? Have you come across a lot of highly ranked apps that were poor quality?
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