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iOS ASO Question on App Name

billykbillyk Posts: 103New Users @ @
Hi all,

I have an app which is named as "Game ABC: A Great Game" (it's an example, the real name is more interesting :) ). Here ABC is quite a common search term and I noticed that when I search for ABC in App Store, it seems to me that app names which start with ABC has an advantage. So in an app update, I changed the name to:

ABC Game: A Great Game which does XXX and YYY

To my surprise, after I released the update, my app's ranking for search term ABC drops substantially (from 30+ to 200+). I know update will kill all previous reviews but my app did not have any review so it should not be a factor. I am just wondering if my app name ASO tricks has backfired!

Specifically, I am wondering:

- Does "ABC Game" and "Game ABC" make any difference at all.
- I have made the App name longer. It's not because I want to stuff more keywords but I want to highlight XXX and YYY which is somewhat unique in my game. Yet, would longer app name put me in any disadvantageous position?

Any thoughts will be well appreciated.

Replies

  • optimizemyappsoptimizemyapps USAPosts: 138Registered Users @ @
    @billyk - Can you private message me your App name or link; To comment on your question I would really have to look at your App
    OptimizeMyApps.com for Professional Help on App Store Optimization / App Promotion Services at Great Prices
  • raymngraymng Posts: 2,046Registered Users @ @ @ @
    I suspect keyword weighting is already applied to app store..
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,621New Users @ @ @ @ @
    raymng wrote: »
    I suspect keyword weighting is already applied to app store..

    @billyk has posted a very good question. This whole keyword ranking thing is starting to look like witchcraft. Or... being somewhat cynical... I wonder if a reviewer has the power to arbitrarily up or lower your keyword ranking by just pushing a button. We know they already can selectively delete keywords they feel are not appropriate. With Apple's lack of transparency, who knows what else a reviewer can do.

  • billykbillyk Posts: 103New Users @ @
    raymng wrote: »
    I suspect keyword weighting is already applied to app store..

    @raymng what do you mean by keyword weighting?

  • ShaneLK7ShaneLK7 Washington, DCPosts: 11New Users *
    That is odd, imo. That shouldn't be the case. You mentioned you made the name longer as well, did you add additional keywords?

    The iOS search algorithm is still very much a mystery, but by most appearances the app name appears to be a major factor when ranking apps for certain keywords. Moving the position of the keyword in the app shouldn't cause it to drop to that extent. I suspect there is something else at play there.
  • 737FlightSim737FlightSim UKPosts: 108New Users @ @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    ...they feel are not appropriate. With Apple's lack of transparency, who knows what else a reviewer can do.
    It's a pity we cannot know about what they did. Sometimes I feel like there is always somebody not allowing my app to go higher. Example: In china I didn't do any promotion at all and one of my apps went to 1st place in it's category. It was climbing for 3 weeks. Then after that it went down in 2 weeks and is not ranking at all. Who can explain me this?

  • panzeritipanzeriti United StatesPosts: 769Registered Users @ @ @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    ...they feel are not appropriate. With Apple's lack of transparency, who knows what else a reviewer can do.
    It's a pity we cannot know about what they did. Sometimes I feel like there is always somebody not allowing my app to go higher. Example: In china I didn't do any promotion at all and one of my apps went to 1st place in it's category. It was climbing for 3 weeks. Then after that it went down in 2 weeks and is not ranking at all. Who can explain me this?

    Apple hates you :P

    Perhaps one or more of the keywords that were a driving factor for your app was not relevant any longer, such as would be the case when using a keyword that is dependent on another app that is no longer popular. Just a thought.
  • 737FlightSim737FlightSim UKPosts: 108New Users @ @
    panzeriti wrote: »
    dev666999 wrote: »
    ...they feel are not appropriate. With Apple's lack of transparency, who knows what else a reviewer can do.
    It's a pity we cannot know about what they did. Sometimes I feel like there is always somebody not allowing my app to go higher. Example: In china I didn't do any promotion at all and one of my apps went to 1st place in it's category. It was climbing for 3 weeks. Then after that it went down in 2 weeks and is not ranking at all. Who can explain me this?

    Apple hates you :P

    Perhaps one or more of the keywords that were a driving factor for your app was not relevant any longer, such as would be the case when using a keyword that is dependent on another app that is no longer popular. Just a thought.

    Well, I love apple maybe they will love me too someday:D

    Regarding keywords I made them all good and they were relevant to the app. Not sure if actually somebody made popular app with some of these keywords I used but that is possible.
  • billykbillyk Posts: 103New Users @ @
    I actually think Apple is right by keeping things into a black box. If they are too transparent, people can just exploit it and any "good strategy" will become useless quickly when everyone use it. Frankly I think everyone will be worse off if Apple is transparent on their search algorithm.

    Having said that, the biggest factors that contribute to an app's success or failure are its quality and its visibility in app store. However, nowadays it seems the latter is MUCH MUCH more important than the former and I think while Apple has provided a great technology platform to do the former, the latter has now become a dark arts.

    For me, the only thing I'd hope Apple to fix is: Don't require a new app update to change keywords.

    BTW on my app, it's still lingering at 200+ in the search results of that particular terms. I am thinking to release yet another update and try to shorten the app name, as I suspect the longer name may have been a factor.

  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,621New Users @ @ @ @ @
    The reason why Apple operates the way they do, is because Apple is a fascist organization.

    You can sugar coat it any way you want, but the truth... they're fascists.

    Apple has absolute power.

    The developers?

    Just a bunch of serfs.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,621New Users @ @ @ @ @
    When you make it transparent, the way it should be, the big equalizing factor is that everyone can game it, which once again levels the playing field.


    I used to trade stocks for a living.

    Black boxes suck, because you don't know why something works.
  • raymngraymng Posts: 2,046Registered Users @ @ @ @
    billyk wrote: »
    raymng wrote: »
    I suspect keyword weighting is already applied to app store..

    @raymng what do you mean by keyword weighting?

    I mean when the title is longer, the weighting of each word would become lesser..
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,621New Users @ @ @ @ @
    raymng wrote: »
    billyk wrote: »
    raymng wrote: »
    I suspect keyword weighting is already applied to app store..

    @raymng what do you mean by keyword weighting?

    I mean when the title is longer, the weighting of each word would become lesser..

    Hmmm... so the longer keyword stuffed titles do not give you an advantage?

    If true, that's interesting and good to know.
  • billykbillyk Posts: 103New Users @ @
    @Jonathan_appnext‌ thanks for the advice. Yes I will try to make 1st line of the description sexier.

    @raymng‌ yes that's my suspicion too as otherwise I really can't explain it.

    I've just submitted an update to shorten the app name to "ABC Game" only. Will update you guys on the results and we'll know if "keyword weighting" is really in place.
  • 737FlightSim737FlightSim UKPosts: 108New Users @ @
    billyk wrote: »
    2. Try a whole different set of words, with different keywords (if possible).
    Hope thismakes sense to you.

    Better do them one by one unless you want to lose all rank.
  • raymngraymng Posts: 2,046Registered Users @ @ @ @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    raymng wrote: »
    billyk wrote: »
    raymng wrote: »
    I suspect keyword weighting is already applied to app store..

    @raymng what do you mean by keyword weighting?

    I mean when the title is longer, the weighting of each word would become lesser..

    Hmmm... so the longer keyword stuffed titles do not give you an advantage?

    If true, that's interesting and good to know.

    Not sure.. just an idea..
  • RedStripeRedStripe San Francisco, CAPosts: 63New Users @
    Interesting result. Looking forward to the follow up.
  • billykbillyk Posts: 103New Users @ @
    At the end the update couldn't save the app. It continues to fall down in the ranking and downloads plummet to depth. I think the lack of download is killing it....

    I do think keyword weighting may be in play. Early this week I had another app approved on the store and I just call it say, "XYZ Game". When I search for "XYZ" on iPhone, there are over 1,100 results returned and my app ranked no.7. On iPad, it ranked no.4.

    Would it drop substantially if I change the name to "XYZ Game: The Greatest of Greatest Game"? I don't know and I dare not to find out....

  • Crichton333Crichton333 Posts: 278Registered Users @ @
    Your game needs to be in a constant line upwards, when you update or change something to cause a drop, even if the downloads continue the algorithm has already registered that as a fall. So if you break that constant even for a day (or Apple Store refresh rate) you will lose rank. Thats my 2 cents.
    "Smoke me a kipper i'll be back for breakfast." -- iOS: Nebula Virtual Reality
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