Allegations about the iTunes App Store bias search results directed at Apple were strongly denied. Recent allegations were calling the provider out on favoring its own apps in the search results. As proof against the allegations and claims, Apple has disclosed a total of 42 different factors that are all used in determining the App Search ranking results.
The initial reports and accusations emerged on Tuesday when the Wall Street Journal underlined their own findings regarding the App Store search results. They found that over 60% of any types of basic searches will yield apps native to Apple. Those apps naturally contribute to generating revenue for the company big time and that is considered as the main motive for this accusation. Furthermore, Apple Music and Books and similar utility apps appeared first 95% of the time in related searches, and they all generate profit for the company, with subscriptions and in-app purchases of course.
If true, this time of monopoly would give all Apple native apps an unfair dominance on the iTunes App Store, which has, according to the Wall Street Journal report, over $50 Million in annual revenue. They called out the developer on several different issues, saying that their search test showed that in categories like “movies”, “maps”, “Music”, “books”, and other native apps strongly dominate the search result list. Their accusations are further strengthened by the fact that in ‘maps’ search, Apple Maps come before Google Maps, which is incalculably more popular.
However, Apple disclosed 42 determining factors that are all factored in the search and determine the positioning of a certain App on the search list. They did not disclose their precise search algorithms, per se, but have pointed at their guides for optimizing your Apps to improve on your search ranking. Among the main factors are naturally download numbers, user ratings and reviews, and more. As a direct reply to The Wall Street Journal, Apple issued the following:
“Apple customers have a very strong connection to our products and many of them use search as a way to find and open their apps. This customer usage is the reason Apple has strong rankings in search, and it’s the same reason Uber, Microsoft, and so many others often have high rankings as well.”