Apple has released a series of updates to its search algorithm in the iOS App Store this past week. Here the company has tweaked how the system weighs keyword and app name metadata to allow for more accurate results. One thing to note here is that the changes in the algorithm could possibly affect app SEO negatively.
Noted by Tomasz Kolinko, developer and co-founder of App Store analysts Appcod.es, the new changes reinstate some of the search functionality lost by last week’s algorithm refresh that relied heavily on app descriptions instead of developer-supplied keyword and title data. He provided an example of how the query “writing advice” didn’t result in showing his Love Letter Writing app just a few days ago but the same query executed again after the update caused him to reappear as one of the top results, illustrating a definite reinstatement of previous search rules.
Matthäus Krzykowski, co-founder of app search firm Xyologic, also confirmed the App Store’s return to keyword and title search rules and guessed that users would be seeing additional changes in the future as Apple continues to get a handle on all of the apps offered. Krzykowski had the following to say about the changes:
It’s hard to read Apple’s cards, of course. However we are not surprised to see Apple tweaking their algorithms. App Discovery on iOS, while still better than Google’s, continues to decrease. Less and less new apps and developers benefit from the current approach each month. They clearly know they need to tackle this and we are expecting them to continue to tweak their algorithm and test things out.
It’s unknown whether the most recent change is a complete rollback or if it’s based on Apple’s recent acquisition of Chomp, the app search company. What is clear though is that the Cupertino California company is experimenting with new ways to handle the App Store’s massive catalog of free and premium titles.