Apple Improves App Store Search Algorithms
Apple appears to have made some significant improvements to the way App Store searches work in recent weeks, returning more relevant, intelligent results whenever a keyword search for an app is conducted, reports TechCrunch.
Several developers, including Tapbots' Paul Haddad and Contrast's David Barnard began noticing changes to App Store search results starting in early November, with a major algorithm update occurring on November 12.
App rankings for search results now appear to take into account factors that go beyond simple keyword listings, like partial keyword matches and competitor brand names, somewhat de-emphasizing the keywords that developers enter manually. As an example, a search for "Twitter" now brings up relevant apps like Tweetbot, something that didn't happen before the shift.
It's also the first time the App Store has ranked apps for keywords that are not in the title or the "keyword," slot, we understand.
For developers searching against their own app name, what this change means is that they'll now see a number of competing apps that didn't show up before, and an overall expanded list of matches.
AppFigures CEO Ariel Michaeli told TechCrunch the App Store uses a new suggestion function that takes into account the "essence of the app" and puts more emphasis on on-page components.
Apple is constantly making changes to the way apps come up in charts and through search, in an effort to improve app discovery. The recent search algorithm changes appear to be bringing up much more useful results, but as TechCrunch points out, Apple could make further improvements by utilizing metrics like whether an app was featured, positive reviews and press mentions from the web, and its overall usage.
Top Rated Comments
Here's hoping that the top 10 charts might look slightly different in the future. For the last few months and years they certainly haven't.
The App Store is in dire need of a complete overhaul. It is hopelessly restricted for app discoverability. We need more categories, more sub-categories and sophisticated filters accessible at the top of the page. We need to be able to hide apps individually or by category. For instance, I do not want to see any apps with gold, gems or other treasure as In-App Purchases. These apps are all junk to me. We need free demos for every single app, even for 30 minutes. We need longer video previews, video tutorials and more screenshots. We need to be able to tailor the App Store to fit our devices and desires.
Get to it, Apple. If only you hadn't fired Forstall.
This is one of the few things Google has always done better than Apple (and please let's keep Maps out of this thread :p)