#44 - Apple Will Help You If You Do This

Ariel Ariel
3 minute read Jan. 25

Have you ever looked at search results in the App Store and wondered why they're ranked the way they are? In this series of Keyword Teardowns we analyze how the algorithm works and highlight tips and tricks to help you rank higher.


#44 - Apple Will Help You If You Do This

The App Store is very dynamic, and in this Keyword Teardown we'll be going back to a keyword we looked at before to see if the results changed and why. The strategy I'll highlight is a really easy win.

Apple's and Google's search algorithms are black boxes and completely undocumented. But when you look at enough data, patterns start to emerge. I analyze thousands of search results to reverse engineer how the stores decide which apps to rank and how to rank them. I share what I learn for you to learn from and get more visibility.

Keyword: Trivia (revisit)

63 high 87 high 54.8K high 1.1M very high $361.6K very high

Trivia was one of the first keywords I analyzed in this series, and since then, the App Store and algorithm changed enough that now's a good time to revisit it and see if the same apps that ranked before still do. The short answer is "almost", but the why is what's interesting.

Search results for "Trivia" in the U.S App Store

In #1 we have Trivia Crack, previously the second place. But it's not the most optimized app of the bunch... It duplicates the keyword into the subtitle, which Keyword Inspector now highlights, but all other apps with similar ratings commit the same sin, so the algorithm sighs, penalizes them all, and ratings still win.


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In second place we have Trivia Crack 2. First, well-done team Trivia Crack for owning the entire top! But even more cheers because it's got many (many) fewer ratings than the result just below it.

Why? Because it has a featured subscription.

This isn't the first time we've seen the boost featuring a subscription has on keyword ranks, so if you haven't already, go feature your subscription. I'll wait.

Trivia Star, occupying the 3rd spot, has more ratings and more downloads than all other apps in this set. But things aren't great because it's: 1. duplicating the keyword between the name and subtitle 2. Has a very low download-to-rating ratio, and 3. It isn't featuring any subscription, and it does do subscriptions, so there should be no reason.

Easy fixes.

Jeopardy, the app many would associate with trivia without thinking twice, languishes in 4th place by having such a tiny number of ratings the algorithm can't push it up any higher, even if it really wants to. For the number of new downloads it's getting, you know the developers didn't even try...

And last for this set is Trivia: Knowledge Trainer, which has an even smaller number of ratings and downloads. Finally, something a bit more proportional.

There are a couple of things to note here: 1. No duplication. Nice, right? 2. See how Trivia is the first word in the name? That's super helpful and helps it get into the top 5 results without having (m)any new ratings.

What You Need to Know

Apple likes apps and games that leverage the "latest and greatest" the App Store has to offer. Right now that's in-app events and promoted subscriptions.

If you have an event you can promote or a subscription you can feature, go into App Store Connect and do that. Almost anything can count as an event, so if you don't, consider creating one.

Doing this will result in more downloads.

And that's all I have for you today. Subscribe to the newsletter for a new Keyword Teardown next week. If you have any questions or comments, you can find me on Twitter.

Are You Putting My Tips to Good Use?

App Store Optimization is part art and part science. I say it a lot, and I mean it. The art part is what I've been talking about in this Keyword Teardown and in my App Teardowns. The science part is where our simple and intuitive ASO tools come into play.

See where your apps are ranked, track trends, learn from competitors, get smart suggestions, and more, here.

Tagged: #aso

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