Category Archives: App Ranking

When will there be paid App Store placements?

By | App Branding, App Ranking, ASO | No Comments

“Search online for Orange” when will that become “Search in the app stores for Orange”?

Will PPC ever come to App Stores? Could that solve discoverability?

Above the Line adoption:
When was the first time that a TV ad finished with “Search for {brand}” or “Search for {brand message}”? complete with a magnifying glass, which is even less relevant than a floppy disk is to save. Recent examples would be “Search for Army Jobs online”, I also remember one for “Search Orange Online” and being quite excited about that at the time (as I’m sure everyone else was….).

The cost associated to that comes from: brand spend on PPC and SEO. The risks include spoiler tactics from competitors pushing the PPC price even higher to satisfy the CTA needed for this ATL campaign. So when will “Search the App stores for Army Jobs” or “Search the App Stores for Orange” come out? We all know app users are more loyal, spend more, and are less likely to move to a competitor. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use this as a call-to-action rather than “Search online”?

The things that will need to happen:
1) Smartphone ownership needs to hit 90% of the market. In the UK that will probably be by the end of 2016.
2) Marketers need to feel confident that they understand the app stores. This happened with GOOG (and Bing) allowing paid placements to ensure coverage, and the maturing of SEO as a tactic.

How do you make marketers comfortable?
So the question is: when will marketers feel comfortable with ASO? And will the app stores begin to offer paid placements to ensure coverage?

App downloads and discoverability are the victim of “choice apathy”. It’s like trying to work out which American series to watch when at least 10 a day are shoved in your face. Netflix, Sky Atlantic, Amazon Prime Instant Video and all the rest of it.

App Discoverability has been driven by Apple: they want a curated, controlled, experience that theoretically ensures quality of apps. The key way they do this is:

– Featured: the majority of apps that are riding high in the category ranks will come from being featured, as opposed to any Paid app marketing or ASO.

But App discoverability is already being taken away from Apple, Youtubers driving downloads e.g. FlappyBird and Pewdepie, Dumb Ways to Die and Lonniedos, and The Akinator and TobyGames.

Given the information that we know, when do you think marketers will use ASO as a call-to-action and incorporate it into their marketing efforts?


App ranking deviation: iTunes app store, IOS app store: mind the gap!

By | App Ranking | No Comments

Did you know that the results you see on the iTunes App Store are completely different from the ones you see on IOS devices (Iphone and Ipad devices)? Well, that’s because Apple have not synchronized the two rankings.

In fact, the algorithm for iTunes on desktop looks different to the algorithm for the App store on IOS devices such as iPhone and iPad; even though the mobile operating system and media player platform are both managed by Apple. Ranking data provided by the ASO tool: Sensortower refers only to the IOS ranking and doesn’t take into account the Itunes ranking; this could be explained by the fact that most users’ download apps via IOS devices.

An analysis of the difference in rankings


In order to illustrate the issue of ranking differences, we can for example, have a closer look at the ranking position (for specific keywords) of Trivago’s UK app. It should be noted that this gap is not specific only to Trivago but can also be spotted with other apps.

The graph below illustrates the significant deviation between the IOS app store (provided by SensorTower) and ITunes ranking. The ranking positions have been taken from27th January 2015.

graphIt is even more surprising that a keyword can be really efficient (in terms of app visibility) on ITunes and not at all, on IOS. Thus, Trivago’s app can rank in the top 10 in ITunes for a keyword, while the app isn’t even in the top 50 for the same keyword, in the IOS app store!

Let’s take the keyword “vacation” as an example. On 27th January 2015, According to Sensortower, Trivago would rank 60th in the IOS App store for this keyword and 58th for Appannie. When checking manually on an Iphone, we found that it ranks 60th. However, it ranks 9th in the ITunes app store, at this particular date and also, in the UK market.

SensorTower 27/01/2015 (60th position):


Appannie 27/01/2015 (58th):


Itunes App store 27/01/2015 (9th):


Until now Apple has not given any explanation for the ranking gap. According to Alex Malafeev, Founder at SensorTower:

It is not a case that iTunes searches are behind the iPhone searches or that they are cached, as we’ve looked at historical data and there really isn’t any correlation.  Sometimes completely different apps appear in the iTunes search results.

Therefore, depending on your ranking objectives on the iTunes app store, if you notice for example that your app’s download opportunity on this platform is higher; you should also consider checking how selected keywords rank on iTunes as well.

However, apps are generally downloaded on smartphone or Ipad devices, thus, the IOS search result remains the most significant one.

Have a look at this blog post by SensorTower  for more information about this ranking gap.

One final question, how would you explain this ranking difference?