#5 - The Thing About Keyword Duplication...

Ariel Ariel
3 minute read 8/19/21

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.


#5 - The Thing About Keyword Duplication...

For all the negative talk of duplication, there's actually something important to keep in mind about how duplication from competitors can impact your ranks.

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 actively analyze search results to reverse engineer how the stores decide which apps to rank and how to rank them, and share what I find, including tips, tricks, and secrets, here for you to learn from.

Keyword: Trivia

63 high 87 high 42.1K high

We've covered bingo and poker in previous Teardowns, so naturally, we just have to look at trivia. The keyword is fairly competitive, and the algorithm recognizes a lot of apps there, which means keyword focus will be essential here. Let's have a look:

At first glance, I can already see a great tip about duplication hiding in plain sight.

See Trivia Star there, in first place? If we compare it with second place Trivia Crack, it's not immediately obvious why the algorithm sorted them this way. Trivia Crack has a more focused name and a bit more ratings. Fewer downloads, but we know that matters less.

It seems like Trivia Crack is using fewer words overall, so you'd expect trivia to have more weight. But... The thing about duplication is that it's removed, so after that, Trivia Star has fewer words overall.

A weird one, for sure! When evaluating the weight distribution for competitors, make sure you remove duplication first.


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In third place, we have Trivia Crack 2. With fewer ratings and downloads, it's unable to beat its sibling. It can, however, stay ahead of Jeopardy! (4th) and QuizzLand (5th), both of which are sorted by new ratings.

One thing that's a little less relevant but still interesting is the number of results we see for trivia, which is the second-highest so far in all Keyword Teardowns I've done.

Are there really 42K+ apps that have the term in their name, subtitle, or description? I took to Explorer, our app search engine, to find the answer.

No, there aren't.

There are only 4,182 apps that have the word trivia in their name, subtitle, or description. An order of magnitude away. So, what's the algo smoking???

The algo is trying to be smart here (how appropriate!) and associate similar terms, then rank apps that fit. This yields results that include terms like quiz and guess and even words like puzzle. Because some apps will always have the main term in their name/subtitle, it's unlikely any of the ones that use those other terms will ever rank high, but they're still considered competition as far as search results go.

FYI - Explorer is a super useful tool I'm pretty sure many of you don't even know we offer. It's a powerful search engine that has metadata, app intelligence, and SDK intelligence built-in, making it the easiest way to learn about new app categories, identify competitors, and much more. Learn more about Explorer

What You Need to Know

There's something about duplication that's worth noting. Apple's algorithm filters out repetition first and then evaluates the weight of keywords. I'm not saying repeat keywords because you can, but I am saying watch out for competitors doing that and analyze those correctly.

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, snoop on competitors, get suggestions, here.

Tagged: #aso

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