App Store Algorithm Changes

Knowing the algorithm itself behind the app stores would be the most amazing thing in order to succeed for app developers, mobile marketers, and media agencies. Following even small clues may create perfect results for creating competitive adventage. Algorithm changes are important improvements with huge effects for the apps in any category. In this article, we listed the App Store Algortihm Changes from past to present.

2011-04-19 * Download Matters Less

After the significant increase in the number of apps in the App Store, Apple updated its ranking algorithm. After this update, download metrics became less important; daily/monthly user metrics became more important than downloads.

2012-08-31 * Acquiring Update / Apple acquired Chomp and changed interface Chomp-like style by improving its algorithm
In Feb 2012, Apple acquired the app search engine, Chomp, and updated its interface and revamped the algorithm (which was made effective by Apple’s server side) on August/September 2012. Also, iOS 6 Update was released.



2013-08-23 * Engagement and Ratings Update

After 2011, Apple served almost one million apps on the App Store by the end of 2013. Ranking was more important for app owners than in past. Apple updated and mixed engagement and rating metrics in its algorithm.



2013-12-13 * Visibility Update / Apple Adjusted Apps Seen to More Than 40 Positions

In  December 2013, according to MobileDevHQ analysis, some apps moved over 40 spots. “The average ranking change they saw was 41.5 positions, which is 8 times the normal ranking change seen on an average day for iPhone results. Typically, the usual daily change is around 5 positions, for comparison’s sake.” This change was close to the iOS 7 Update.

2014-09-24 – Smarter Ranking Update 1.0 (Core Update)

In 2014, Apple continued to develop its algorithm. We saw a core update, we can call the first, on Apple App Store. Titles, Descriptions, Rating, and Reviews were more important than ever.


2015-06-28 * Spam Update (Title/Keyword Stuffing)

After one million apps on the App Store, finally(!) spammers entered the market. Apple updated its ranking algorithm, accordingly. App owners and marketers, who filled spammy keywords in the title and description areas, had lower rankings.


2015-11-2015 * Smarter Ranking Update 2.0 (Core Update)

Apple App Store continued to growing by total number of apps. In the last quarter in 2015, Apple released its second smarter ranking algorithm update.  When we analyzed the increases and descreases in categories, we can call this algorithm update v2(v1 was on 2014-09-24). Apple had a smarter search engine.


2016-04-30 * Mystery Update

According to analysis on VentureBeat, a mystery search update released by Apple, “We can only guess. Clearly, Apple wants to improve app discovery amid the mass of apps in the store, and this might be another test aimed at improving the current search engine.”


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