App Store Search: What's new

Apple has spent $ 50 million to acquire startup Chomp Inc., which specializes in the development of search algorithms for mobile applications. What does this mean for developers and publishers?

“The fact of such an acquisition is a testament to the high professionalism of Chomp. Creating a high-quality search algorithm is a far from trivial task. The number of applications is increasing every day, the rate of new programs appearing in Apple stores (App Store, Mac App Store) is only increasing,” says Pavel Ryakkonen, Distribution Director of Nevosoft.

In a simplified version, application pages can be considered as some kind of web pages, of course, with their own characteristics. Creating a high-quality search is not at all easy, so the desire to get a good technology for further development is understandable. By the way, it is much easier for Apple’s closest competitor, Google, in this regard, because they have one of the most advanced search technologies, which, by and large, is basic for the entire company.

What can and should be improved in the existing App Store search? One can only speculate on this topic theoretically, because there is no exact information about how the App Store search engine works in the public domain. Why this or that application “drops out” higher in the search results, publishers and developers can only guess, learning from their own experience.

According to Ekaterina Zholobova, Head of Mobile Marketing at Nevosoft, an adequate search engine should take into account such parameters as:

– relevance of the name and description of the application in relation to the search query;
– time and frequency of application usage;
– the “life” time of the application on the device;
– using GameCenter;
– rating of the publisher who published the application;
– availability of localizations to other languages;
– regular release of updates;
– accounting for the ratio of page views of the application in relation to its downloads;
– evaluation of the application by users;
– age of the app;
– availability of the swapped application elements;
– percentage of refunds paid by users.

Improved search algorithm can help new applications: considering that there are already about 600 thousand different programs in the App Store now, beginners have to get into a serious struggle for visibility. For example, super-popular games like Angry Birds are always in the top, thereby closing the way for new projects there.

It’s probably too early to say exactly how Chomp will change the output. Still, we don’t know to what extent and how exactly Apple will use this technology.

In addition, it will be possible to pull high-quality applications “up” only if users search for them. If you haven’t worked on promoting your app before, nothing will change. Perhaps soon this will lead to the emergence of a new profession – App Store SEO Specialist.

“The main thing that the purchase of Chomp says is that Apple has recognized the need for changes. If the integration is successful, the App Store may gain a big advantage over other app stores in the future,” commented Josh Martin, Director of Research at Strategy Analytics.

Note that now the Chomp app is available to iOS and Android users in stores. It allows you to search by parameters such as category, price and popularity. Apple’s purchase will probably result in the app being removed from the Android Market.

Karl Stillner, CEO of Appolicious, agrees: “This is Apple’s first step towards changing the entire ecosystem: now the most popular apps have the main advantage. They are loaded more than others because they occupy tops, and they occupy tops just because they are loaded more than others. It turns out to be a vicious circle.”

In addition, Chomp is currently developing a platform that will act like Google’s AdWords: developers/publishers will be able to buy the keywords they need so that their applications appear in search results.

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