App Store metrics by source and Google I/O Instant Apps and more…

ASO Monthly #13- May 2017 -min

In the ASO Monthly-series we want to reflect on the previous month, to shed a light on trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, insights in conversion rate optimization and tool updates.

App Store Optimization News from May 2017

3 May

Great news: source types are now available with App Analytics on iTunes Connect. App Store Sources provide insight on where users discover an app that includes both App Store Browse and App Store Search data. If you want to increase your visibility by for example getting featured, App Store Browse data will help you address the success and tells you whether customers discovered an app via the Featured, Categories or Top Charts sections in the App Store. The bigger win is App Store Search data though, which identifies how many customers discovered the app from an App Store search. This can give you a good grip on the success of your keyword optimization. App Referrer Data counts users who visit an app from a link within another app. Web referrers are also shown.

These features are added to other existing analytics features on iTunes Connect such as web referrer data and app store impressions. It provides developers with important information on where their customers are coming from. This allows for better targeting and thus optimizing marketing campaigns through advertising, social media or in-app links.

itunes connect app analytics -min

8 May

Google Play is ending its Top Developer program that gives recognition to top developers by giving them a blue badge and “Top Developer” in their app listings. According to Google, their research demonstrated a preference for the recognition of individual apps and games, instead of entire organizations. The Top Developer program will be closed and badging removed from the Play Store by early June. Google plans to replace the program with something focusing on individual apps and games.

the blue top developer badge in the firefox and slack listing on google play-min

The blue “Top Developer” badge in the Firefox and Slack listing on Google Play

Gabe Kwakyi from mobile marketing agency Incipia, spotted an algorithm change that may have occurred in the Apple App Store. Large shifts in rankings for apps that targeted branded or competitor keywords were reported. These changes for competitor keywords were noticed and confirmed several industry sources. Gabe Kwakyi recommends those ranking for competitive keywords to check whether they have been affected by the keyword algorithm update.

17 May

At Google I/O several interesting features for Android were introduced and made available. Google Play Protect was launched to protect Android devices from harmful apps. According to Google, the feature checks for new risks, identifies potentially harmful apps and keeps them off or removes them from devices. Good for ASO as these shady apps are often also using Black Hat ASO strategies taking organic traffic away from other apps.

The Google Play Protect feature scans apps for problems -min

The Google Play Protect feature scans apps for problems

At I/O several new features were released for the Google Play Console such as an improved statistics page, android vitals, release management (including instant apps), new retained installer data for user acquisition, new features for reviewing user feedback and financial reports for analyzing the performance of subscriptions.

Android vitals will help developers control problems occurring with their apps and improve overall app quality. App reports provide data relating to battery drain, non-response rates, crashes and slow UI. The dashboards also report on the number of users are affected and provides advice on how to fix specific problems. Developers can segment by devices, Android version and other performance indicators. This allows them to gain useful data on how their app is performing with users. As Google is focusing on improving overall Android device performance, it will warn developers who’s app ranks in the bottom 25 percent regarding battery performance etc. through the developer’s console. Why this is especially relevant for ASO is because Google announced that it would now punish bad performing apps by decreasing their visibility within the store.

Google Play Dashboards performance analytics tool -min

Google Play Dashboards performance analytics tool

Having been announced at last year’s Google I/O, Android Instant Apps is now being rolled out to a selected number of users. Android Autority provides guidelines for checking whether the feature is available on one’s device and for enabling it. Android Instant Apps allows accessing a cloud-based version of an app through the browser, without installing it from the Google Play Store. It is now open to all developers and a number of apps such as Onefootball, Vimeo, Jet and HotPads are already live, with some reporting great success in purchases and leads generated.

Sample of Android Instant Apps available-min

Sample of Android Instant Apps available (Android Developer)

Google is adding another ad slot, eating further into the organic visibility of apps. App developers can now advertise on the Google Play Store home page and store listings. The new Google Play Store ads will only be available through Universal Ad Campaigns.

New ad placements in Google Play -min

New ad placements in Google Play

24 May

According to new SensorTower research there are almost twice as many million dollar publishers on the App Store than on Google Play. On both stores games publishers account for the large majority of million-dollar earners, followed by social networking and entertainment. The data reconfirms previous findings that consumers spend more on Apple’s platform. Further, a greater number of up-and-coming publishers benefit substantially each year, although the gap between the two platforms is narrowing.

Platform comparison of millionaire app publishers-min

Platform comparison of millionaire app publishers (Sensortower)

31 May

We’ve heard iOS apps getting rejected with the following new message: (via)

“You will experience a delayed review process if you deliberately disregard the App Store Review Guidelines, ignore previous rejection feedback in future app submissions, or use your app to mislead or deceive users.”

Apple is seemingly getting impatient with people trying to manipulate the system and gives App Store reviewers another penalty measure by putting apps that don’t oblige, on a delayed review process track.

Thanks, that’s it from us for April!

If you like the ASO Monthly series, please click the 💚 button below. Also make sure to follow the ASO Monthly-series or sign up to the left so that you’re the first to hear when the next edition comes out.

By the way, have you checked out our new ASO Framework, the ASO stack?


Try this challenging ultimate ASO knowledge test quiz from ASOdesk.

App Packs: When App Store Optimization meets SEO for apps (Splitmetrics).

Moritz Daan presented the App Store Optimization Stack at the Applause BCN conference in Barcelona:

ASO Stack presentation #1 in Barcelona.

Other ASO Monthly editions:

  1. April 2017: Apple search ads, botnet attacks and more…
  2. March 2017: Replying to reviews in iOS 10.3 and more…
  3. February 2017: Play Store starts using retention for keyword rankings
  4. January 2017: In-App ratings in iOS 10.3 and more
  5. December 2016: Priori Data launches Keyword Tool …
  6. November 2016: Google Play adds conversion rate benchmarks…
  7. October 2016: Apple launches Search Ads… (by Maximilian)
  8. September 2016: 50 character title-rule… (by Gabe)
  9. August 2016: Simplified screenshot submission… (by Peter)
  10. July 2016: Google Play Store testing with 2nd ad…
  11. June 2016: Announcement search ads…
  12. May 2016: App Store broken + 5 localized store listing experiments…