In this ASO Monthly series, the Phiture team reflects on the previous month and sheds light on trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, privacy changes, conversion rate optimization, and tool updates.

This update was written by ASO Consultant Peiyi Lin at Phiture

Don’t miss our ASO eBook which was released on  March 7th and be part of the ultimate ASO event this year! ASO Conference 2022 will be hosted on May 11th and more speakers and the final agenda will be announced by the end of March 2022. See you soon!

February 1 – The trick of the US Apple store keyword field extension is no longer applicable.

As known by many ASO practitioners, the Apple store provides limited characters to the app developers to place the search terms that they wish to rank for. The more keywords you can rank for, the more possibility for the developers to gain  visibility from those keywords. In brief, the trick to gain extra fields to place the keywords would be a dream. Radomir Novkovich shared that keywords in Traditional Chinese in the title field were also indexed in the US Apple store.  

However, the trick did not last long, and according to  Vadim Lysenko, this is no longer applicable in the US Apple store. (Twitter

February 1 – A common misunderstanding for Apple Web-Referrer Attribution

One highlighted topic addressed by Phiture’s Anton Tatarynovichthe Web-Referrer in the Apple store analytics is not attributed in the way that most people regard it to be.  A common misunderstanding is that people thought Web-Referrer in the Apple store analytics acquires the web traffic from most of the browsers, while it actually counts on the traffic from Safari. 

Screenshot credited to Apple 

Although the importance of web attribution for the app developers and practitioners might differ, a clear understanding of what makes up your user acquisition is always gold.


February 2 – Unexpected longer App review time in the Google Play store 

Compared to the review time in the Apple store, the review time in the Google play store is expected to be shorter. Addressed by the ASO community member Nabeel Liaquat (ASO Stack), the app has experienced up to 2 weeks of long review time recently.

Although it may not impact too much on the ASO side, a case of store refresh to cope with other marketing campaigns might be affected by this unexpected factor.


February 5 – Apple abruptly suspended accounts owned by Belarusian developer

It was indicated by ASO stack community member, Ilia Kukharev, that he had received many reports regarding the Belarusian Apple developer account suspensions by Apple. Though the suspended reason is unclear (Motolko), it is suggested the account owner updates their account profiles. (Twitter Post by Ilia Kukharev)


February 10 – Bug in the Apple Analytics – A drastic drop was found in the Impression report.

ASO Stack member, Michael Grierson, pointed out that he is seeing an abnormal impression drop from February 3 onward. The reporting issue in the impressions resonated with many ASO practitioners as the same issue appeared in their Apple store connect. (ASO Stack)

Screenshot credited to Ernesto Cohnen


February 12 – The Impression bug was fixed quickly by Apple

Vadim Lysenko followed up on the impression bug from February 3rd and the reporting bug which were quickly fixed by Apple (ASO Stack)and are no longer to be seen in the Apple Analytic tab. The graph below can tell the difference itself.

Screenshot credited to Vadim Lysenko

February 15 – App Preview Video Setup Bug invalided the Custom Product Page

It was reported by Parv Bhargava in the ASO Stack, that a weird bug appeared on the product page when setting up the video on the custom product page in the Apple store. (ASO Stack)The video in the product page will be duplicated and, as all ASO practitioners can imagine, that the app preview clip duplication might impact the conversion.

Screenshot credited to Parv Bhargava 


February 18 – Apple’s Search Suggestions are broken and show the Search users mostly the App titles for few days.

Part of the Apple search users rely on the Search Suggestions to find the app they are looking for in the Apple store. Shared by Ilia Kukharev on Feb 18, the fields below the Apple regular search bar were showing the app titles instead of some more generic keyword combinations. 

This means it may benefit the app developers who have acquired those keywords in the title with some degrees of search volume, while those who depend more on the generic keyword combinations will be attributed less through the Apple’s Search Suggestions.

Fortunately, this bug was fixed and the Apple’s Search Suggestions were back to  usual performance on February 22.(Shared by Debotosh Dey in ASO Stack)

Screenshot credited to Ilia Kukharev


Upcoming events in the next month

Feb 15 – March 29 More App Store Sessions in March 

March 15 Google for Games Developer Summit returns 

May 11: ASO Conference 2022

Tool Updates :

AppTweak is the first ASO Tool to flag in-app events.(Apptweak)

App Annie is now rebranded to (


Interesting Reads

Apple is fined for the 5th time by Dutch antitrust watchdog over payment methods in the store.(Reuters)

Starting late April, Google play store required developers to share more about apps’ privacy and security practice.(Play Console Help)

Top subscription app revenue grew 41% in 2021 to reach $18.3 billion (Techcrunch)

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