… and 30% discount on the APS summit in Berlin if you read to the end

ASO Monthly #18 October 2017- New Search Ads Countries, Play Store Installs Per Search Term Coming (?) & More

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

App Store Optimization News from October 2017

October 4

Thomas Petit was, as always, first to report on the ASO Stack Slack group that Apple would release Search Ads in Mexico (Spanish), Canada (French & English) and Switzerland (French, German & Italian). Search Ads went live in these countries on October 17. The selection of countries probably relates to Apple wanting to tackle the Latin American market with Spanish (with Spanish also being important in the US), as well as tackling French in Canada. Switzerland would also be an interesting testing ground for Apple, due to the different languages and could possibly be a testing ground for the German and Italian language market. Making Search Ads available in more markets seems to be a priority to the Apple App Store team, with more markets likely to follow soon.

As shown by Ilia Kukharev on the ASO Stack Slack group, some developers were able to include custom images in their App Store developer tile, which shows up when searching for a developer name. The below example can’t be found anymore however per November 2, and might as such have been an A/B test.

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App Store developer tile (via Ilia Kukharev, ASO Stack Slack)

October 5

As shown on 9to5Google, Google has been testing the displaying of top charts ranks in app listings. The current rank of an app being shown below the install button. This was likely a temporary A/B test which has so far not been implemented. Such a change would be relevant as it provides quick information to the page store visitor regarding the rank of an app. It would however mean that the app’s short description and screenshots get pushed down even further.

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Top charts rank can be seen below the install button (via 9to5Google)

October 6

Apple has made some changes to the user interface on iTunesConnect along with further changes. Also, according to Silke Glauninger (via the ASO Stack Slack) several other features have been removed:

❌ All sub category for Newspaper and Magazines

❌ Dice (Sub Category Games)

❌ Educational (Sub Category Games)

❌ Catalogs

❌ Kids

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New App Previews and Screenshots interface (via Ilia Kukharev — ASO Stack Slack)

October 9

The App download size is now available for iOS apps on iTunesConnect. According to Apple you must still be connected to Wi-Fi if the download size exceeds 150 MB.

October 16

SensorTower launches a feature to which pulls and displays featured apps from the new iOS 11 feature formats.

Sensor Tower Now Tracks ‘Today’ Featuring on the iOS 11 App Store

Introduced as part of the completely revamped App Store in iOS 11, the Today feed takes featuring to a whole new level…


October 17

There was a keyword algorithm update on the App Store first noted and reported by Mithun Jhawar (ASO Stack Slack), with drops / upticks in keyword rankings. This change seems to have occurred across various apps.

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App Store algorithm update (via Mithun Jhawar — ASO Stack Slack)

October 19

Along with providing data on the success of Android Vitals (65% adoption, crash rate reduced from 3.5% to 1.7%) Google announced “Try Now” for Android Instant Apps at Google Playtime in Berlin. The button will be included for apps that support the Instant Apps feature, with users being able to try the app without installing it.

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Google introducing Try Now for Instant Apps (vaspab)

Google has also updated its developer policy, which now includes additional restrictions / guidelines around gambling, app functionality, guide app behavior and permission requests.

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Google Developer policy update

October 19

Mobile marketing expert and Thomas Petit has provided exciting, yet unconfirmed, intelligence that Google will soon make the number of installs per search term available on the Google Developer Console and split search vs browse installs. Google would not only be supplying data that is already available in the App Store (search vs browse) but also offer even more precise data on the value of keywords than Apple does with Search Ads popularity volumes.

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Thomasbcn on Twitter

October 24

A/B testing tool StoreMaven posts a great in-depth article on how to measure the impact of the new iOS 11 app store on your search traffic and conversion.

[Part 1] Search Traffic: How to Use iTunes Connect to Measure the Impact of iOS 11 on Your App…

With iOS 11 now available for everyone, you’re probably wondering how the redesigned Apple App Store is affecting your…


October 24

Research into featuring in the new iOS 11 App Store was conducted by app data provider Apptopia. Through studying featured apps and games over a month, they found that both apps and games would get a huge boost in installs. Featuring was highest on weekdays, with “App of the Day” apps receiving average download boosts of 2,172% and “Game of the Day” games apps receiving an average boost of 860%. Downloads were highest for free apps. The report provides quite a bit of additional interesting insight and is a recommended read for the month.

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Download data on apps with the new iOS 11 featuring (Apptopia data and report)

October 26

New permissions have been added on Android that according to privacy focused search engine DuckDuckGo are called “Activity Recognition” and share with apps whether you are walking, driving or sitting. These data can potentially provide interesting insight for app marketers in terms of targeting users, although privacy concerns are likely to be raised. The permissions cannot be disabled, except by uninstalling the apps that use it.

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New “activity recognition” permissions on Android (via DuckDuckGo)

October 27

Higher resolutions materials for app previews and screenshots for the iPhone X can now be uploaded to iTunesConnect. These are Apple’s specifications on screenshots and app preview videos.

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iTunesConnect news

Phiture’s Pablo Penny will be running a workshop on Conversion Rate Optimization at App Promotion Summit Berlin on 30 November 2017. We’re looking forward to meeting lots of ASO folks there.

Get 30% off for App Promotion Summit Berlin tickets with this Phiture code: APSPHI

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APS Berlin 30 November 217 (discount code: APSPHI)

Further interesting blog posts on ASO that appeared last month:

App Growth Lab – Free app marketing & ASO course by Splitmetrics

Apple doesn’t give a shit about developers (Jonathan Kay, Apptopia)

The new iOS 11 App Store and the impact on your conversion rate (Luca Giacomel)

Proven System On Effective Keyword Research (Mobile Action Team)

Ultimate Guide to Screenshots A/B Testing (Liza Knotko Mon on Apptweak)

Thanks, that’s it from us for October!

If you like the ASO Monthly series, please click the 👏button. 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.

Other ASO Monthly editions:

  1. September 2017: The launch of the ASO book, the launch of iOS 11…
  2. August 2017: UACs, video previews, subtitle rankings…
  3. July 2017: Algorithm changes and more iOS 11 news…
  4. June 2017: A whole new game: renewed iOS 11 App Store… (by Luca)
  5. May 2017: App Store metrics, Google I/O Instant Apps and more…
  6. April 2017: Apple search ads, botnet attacks and more…
  7. March 2017: Replying to reviews in iOS 10.3 and more…
  8. February 2017: Play Store starts using retention for keyword rankings
  9. January 2017: In-App ratings in iOS 10.3 and more
  10. December 2016: Priori Data launches Keyword Tool …
  11. November 2016: Google Play adds conversion rate benchmarks…
  12. October 2016: Apple launches Search Ads… (by Maximilian)
  13. September 2016: 50 character title-rule… (by Gabe)
  14. August 2016: Simplified screenshot submission… (by Peter)
  15. July 2016: Google Play Store testing with 2nd ad…
  16. June 2016: Announcement search ads…
  17. May 2016: App Store broken + 5 localized store listing experiments…

Thanks to Regina Leuwer.