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Ranking Algorithm Change?

mobilagamobilaga Posts: 66Registered Users @
Looks like Apple changed their ranking algorithm this morning around 6AM? Our app completely disappeared from the charts. I'm not sure what is going on. Maybe it's related to the time change and some bug surfaced?

I was thinking they're cracking down on apps that have done some shady things, but we never did anything illegal, all our marketing efforts have been very legitimate and traditional/normal marketing.

Anyone else see the issue?

Replies

  • PlutoPrimePlutoPrime Posts: 351Registered Users @ @
    Yep. There was a significant change in the ranking algorithm this morning. There are apps that have been nerfed to oblivion and others that were boosted.

    I'll grab some popcorn and watch this unfold.
  • freelancer77freelancer77 the worldPosts: 101New Users @ @
    i can report a big spike in my paid apps for what thats worth
  • PlutoPrimePlutoPrime Posts: 351Registered Users @ @
    edited March 2015
    I will add though, that I am getting a lot of respect for Apple again in how they're managing the App Store. They're doing a much better job to combat problems with search, bot farmers, fake reviews, etc.

    Google's algorithm doesn't seem to be as robust in penalizing bot-farmers as iOS and their review/rating system is complete shit compared to Apple. I think Apple's choices will lead to apps that are _genuinely_ popular bubbling to the top, not only apps that have extremely fat wallets.

    To be honest, apps like clash of clans and candy crush sure have monstrous marketing coffers, but at least the engagement and active users are genuine in those games. So there is honor in that.

    I'm currently looking at an app on Google Play that has been bot farmed to top 25 for the past 8 weeks. It's astonishing to me how shitty Google's algorithm is in penalizing this app. The sad part is that this particular app is using a mix of real and black-hat marketing techniques (to save $, otherwise it would cost them $50k/day to maintain that rank) so maybe Google's search algorithm is a piece of shit (like everything else that is produced in Mountain View, CA) in recognizing that kind of stuff. Sad for a search engine company to be this bad in optimizing top charts.

    ;tldr **** Google and everything they stand for. Go Apple!
  • mobilagamobilaga Posts: 66Registered Users @
    PlutoPrime wrote: »
    I will add though, that I am getting a lot of respect for Apple again in how they're managing the App Store. They're doing a much better job to combat problems with search, bot farmers, fake reviews, etc.

    Google's algorithm doesn't seem to be as robust in penalizing bot-farmers as iOS and their review/rating system is complete shit compared to Apple. I think Apple's choices will lead to apps that are _genuinely_ popular bubbling to the top, not only apps that have extremely fat wallets.

    To be honest, apps like clash of clans and candy crush sure have monstrous marketing coffers, but at least the engagement and active users are genuine in those games. So there is honor in that.

    I'm currently looking at an app on Google Play that has been bot farmed to top 25 for the past 8 weeks. It's astonishing to me how shitty Google's algorithm is in penalizing this app. The sad part is that this particular app is using a mix of real and black-hat marketing techniques so maybe Google's search algorithm is a piece of shit (like everything else that is produced in Mountain View, CA) in recognizing that kind of stuff. Sad for a search engine company to be this bad in optimizing top charts.

    Yeah, I'm curious to see what will happen. It was weird to see, our app has been charting for many months, but completely disappeared this morning. We never ever did anything illegal. Hence why I'm confused. I hope they're cracking down on the illegal stuff, like buying reviews or bots, but they should do a better job not to hurt legitimate developers. Let's see what happens in this coming week.
  • PlutoPrimePlutoPrime Posts: 351Registered Users @ @
    edited March 2015
    mobilaga wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm curious to see what will happen. It was weird to see, our app has been charting for many months, but completely disappeared this morning. We never ever did anything illegal. Hence why I'm confused. I hope they're cracking down on the illegal stuff, like buying reviews or bots, but they should do a better job not to hurt legitimate developers. Let's see what happens in this coming week.

    In this history of your app, did you ever do significant incentivized marketing? I'm not saying bot farms. I'm saying real installs by real users that were incentivized. I asked this because I'm curious if Apple is taking un-install counts into account when ranking. So for example, an app that has 100k in incentivized installs (with 10% turning into real users) vs an app that has 100k non-incentivized installs (60% turning into real users) results in a huge difference in how they're actually ranked even though they got the same number of installs.

  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,558New Users @ @ @ @ @
    mobilaga wrote: »
    Looks like Apple changed their ranking algorithm this morning around 6AM? Our app completely disappeared from the charts. I'm not sure what is going on. Maybe it's related to the time change and some bug surfaced?

    I was thinking they're cracking down on apps that have done some shady things, but we never did anything illegal, all our marketing efforts have been very legitimate and traditional/normal marketing.

    Anyone else see the issue?

    What Categories and Games Subcategories are you in?

    And how high did you rank, before the latest change/drop?
  • mobilagamobilaga Posts: 66Registered Users @
    PlutoPrime wrote: »
    mobilaga wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm curious to see what will happen. It was weird to see, our app has been charting for many months, but completely disappeared this morning. We never ever did anything illegal. Hence why I'm confused. I hope they're cracking down on the illegal stuff, like buying reviews or bots, but they should do a better job not to hurt legitimate developers. Let's see what happens in this coming week.

    In this history of your app, did you ever do significant incentivized marketing? I'm not saying bot farms. I'm saying real installs by real users that were incentivized. I asked this because I'm curious if Apple is taking un-install counts into account when ranking. So for example, an app that has 100k in incentivized installs (with 10% turning into real users) vs an app that has 100k non-incentivized installs (60% turning into real users) results in a huge difference in how they're actually ranked even though they got the same number of installs.

    No, we never did any kind of incentivized downloads. I don't believe in those kind of installs since it attracts the wrong kind of users. We want users who see the app and decide to download it themselves. Hence why it is a big confusing.
  • mobilagamobilaga Posts: 66Registered Users @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    mobilaga wrote: »
    Looks like Apple changed their ranking algorithm this morning around 6AM? Our app completely disappeared from the charts. I'm not sure what is going on. Maybe it's related to the time change and some bug surfaced?

    I was thinking they're cracking down on apps that have done some shady things, but we never did anything illegal, all our marketing efforts have been very legitimate and traditional/normal marketing.

    Anyone else see the issue?

    What Categories and Games Subcategories are you in?

    And how high did you rank, before the latest change/drop?

    Entertainment category, usually anywhere from top 10-20. We've been ranking high for many months, all of a sudden it just disappeared in major countries. We have NEVER done any kind of shady marketing like bots, paid reviews, incentivized downloads. These were all natural/traditional marketing. Our users downloaded the app because they liked what they saw, and they were all organic downloads.

    I've reached out to Apple to see what's going on. I understand that they might be punishing developers who game the system, I'm all for it, but they should be careful not to punish legitimate developers who spent months on doing proper marketing.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,558New Users @ @ @ @ @
    mobilaga wrote: »
    dev666999 wrote: »
    mobilaga wrote: »
    Looks like Apple changed their ranking algorithm this morning around 6AM? Our app completely disappeared from the charts. I'm not sure what is going on. Maybe it's related to the time change and some bug surfaced?

    I was thinking they're cracking down on apps that have done some shady things, but we never did anything illegal, all our marketing efforts have been very legitimate and traditional/normal marketing.

    Anyone else see the issue?

    What Categories and Games Subcategories are you in?

    And how high did you rank, before the latest change/drop?

    Entertainment category, usually anywhere from top 10-20. We've been ranking high for many months, all of a sudden it just disappeared in major countries. We have NEVER done any kind of shady marketing like bots, paid reviews, incentivized downloads. These were all natural/traditional marketing. Our users downloaded the app because they liked what they saw, and they were all organic downloads.

    I've reached out to Apple to see what's going on. I understand that they might be punishing developers who game the system, I'm all for it, but they should be careful not to punish legitimate developers who spent months on doing proper marketing.

    Wow... that sucks. I hope it is just a glitch, and you'll be back quickly. Because somehow that does not sound right. I follow other developers who do a lot of marketing, and I track their rankings. They are still doing well on the charts with very little change in ranks. And some of them use incentived installs and perhaps bots. Plus they game the reviews... regularly. And yet... they are still there.
  • mobilagamobilaga Posts: 66Registered Users @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    mobilaga wrote: »
    dev666999 wrote: »
    mobilaga wrote: »
    Looks like Apple changed their ranking algorithm this morning around 6AM? Our app completely disappeared from the charts. I'm not sure what is going on. Maybe it's related to the time change and some bug surfaced?

    I was thinking they're cracking down on apps that have done some shady things, but we never did anything illegal, all our marketing efforts have been very legitimate and traditional/normal marketing.

    Anyone else see the issue?

    What Categories and Games Subcategories are you in?

    And how high did you rank, before the latest change/drop?

    Entertainment category, usually anywhere from top 10-20. We've been ranking high for many months, all of a sudden it just disappeared in major countries. We have NEVER done any kind of shady marketing like bots, paid reviews, incentivized downloads. These were all natural/traditional marketing. Our users downloaded the app because they liked what they saw, and they were all organic downloads.

    I've reached out to Apple to see what's going on. I understand that they might be punishing developers who game the system, I'm all for it, but they should be careful not to punish legitimate developers who spent months on doing proper marketing.

    Wow... that sucks. I hope it is just a glitch, and you'll be back quickly. Because somehow that does not sound right. I follow other developers who do a lot of marketing, and I track their rankings. They are still doing well on the charts with very little change in ranks. And some of them use incentived installs and perhaps bots. Plus they game the reviews... regularly. And yet... they are still there.

    Yeah not sure what is going on. The weird thing is our downloads are still strong... Very odd. I don't understand what happened, but many apps just disappeared today. This is what I have a problem with, there are a lot of developers that are gaming the system like you said, but the ones like us who try to be honest and not cheat get punished. We'll see what Apple says tomorrow.
  • mobilagamobilaga Posts: 66Registered Users @
    Looks like things are returning to normal. Our ranking is back up. Not sure what happened. Maybe the time change messed things up :smile:
  • TouchmintTouchmint Tempe, AZPosts: 814Registered Users @ @ @
    Yea I'm noticing weird stuff too. My best selling app at the moment is for baseball and it's totally off the charts while I have some other sports apps that have popped up on the charts. Very weird. I've never done marketing of any kind so that can't be it.
  • WonderAppsWonderApps Posts: 135New Users @ @
    I can confirm all rankings for my app goes back to normal. It seems there is no impact on the revenue. Sounds like a DST problem.
    Latest app:<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/atracker-daily-task-tracking/id519561306?mt=8"; target="_blank">ATracker - Daily Task Tracking by WonderApps AB</a>
  • sinhahumayunsinhahumayun DhakaPosts: 209New Users @ @
    Someone inside apple perhaps went out for a joy ride, things are back to normal, but most of my apps had more than 10% drop in downloads. So, yeah, thanks to apple once again :/
  • sparksosparkso Posts: 494Registered Users @ @
    edited January 2016
    Looks like something happened just a couple of hours ago? Pandora is now ranked number 1 overall all of a sudden. It was number 9.

    edit: And not just pandora's rank got sudden change, many app's ranking changed dramatically.
  • sparksosparkso Posts: 494Registered Users @ @
    so it was a glitch for two hours or so, back to normal now.<img src="/discussion/download/7166/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-30%20at%2010.16.28%20PM.png" />
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