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Apple Adjusts App Store Algorithms, iOS Apps Seen To Move More Than 40 Positions

It looks like Apple has been adjusting its App Store algorithms once again. Because according to recent data, some time between Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, the Cupertino, Calif. company initiated a change to its App Store optimization (ASO) algorithms that saw iOS applications change an average of 41.5 positions.

This is eight times the average ranking change seen for iPhone results on a normal day (which is just five positions), according to the research, which surfaced online from MobileDevHQ and reached us from TechCrunch. The publication explains:

Apple has again tweaked its iOS App Store algorithms, and the changes have brought about widespread search ranking changes across both iPhone and iPad devices. That’s search rankings, to be clear – meaning where an app is returned when a user searches for a particular keyword, like “music” or “banking,” for example, in the App Store. In other words, it’s not “ranking,” as in where an app lies on the App Store’s top charts.

You can check out a chart representing this change below; as you can see, Dec. 11 to Dec. 12 saw more iOS ranking changes than iOS 7's release back in September.

[caption id="attachment_497217" align="aligncenter" width="642"] Source: MobileDevHQ[/caption]

In another chart, also below, MobileDevHQ highlights how this algorithm change has affected particular applications. Though some didn't move much following the adjustment, others have rocketed up in Apple's App Store search rankings; Rdio, for example, saw a 45 percent change, while Hotwire Hotels saw a 43 percent change.

[caption id="attachment_497219" align="aligncenter" width="617"] Source: MobileDevHQ [/caption] [caption id="attachment_497220" align="aligncenter" width="616"] Source: MobileDevHQ [/caption] [caption id="attachment_497221" align="aligncenter" width="618"] Source: MobileDevHQ [/caption] [caption id="attachment_497223" align="aligncenter" width="618"] Source: MobileDevHQ [/caption]

TechCrunch also summarizes some of MobileDevHQ's key findings:

  • Per keyword, 62.8% of apps saw a ranking change of at least 5 positions. (Normally about 17% of apps for a given keyword see a ranking change of at least 5 positions per day.)
  • Per keyword, 40% of apps saw a ranking change of at least 20 positions. (Normally about 3% see a ranking change of that magnitude per day.)
  • Looking at the top 5 apps for any keyword, 31% of them changed. (Normally only about 8% change day-to-day.)

Of course, this isn't the first time Apple has improved its App Store search mechanism. Back in November, we noted that the App Store “now leads to improved results for misspelled queries with small typos,” adding that “searchers looking for an app they know by name, but are unsure if it has spaces in the title, are also seeing better results.”

Plus, after acquiring the algorithm-based app search engine Chomp, Apple incorporated the technology within its iOS 6 App Store application back in August 2012. It's clear the Cupertino, Calif. company is looking to continually update and enhance the experience offered by its App Store; as a major driving-force behind iOS, it's essential Apple ensures that the service performs well.

We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: Hasbro Arcade Features Mini-Games Based On Monopoly, Transformers And More, Once Again, Apple Removes An Anti-Censorship iOS App From China's App Store, and FitStar: Tony Gonzalez Goes 2.0 With Universal Support, iOS 7 Optimizations And More.

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