ASO Monthly #7: November 2016

All App Store Optimization news from November.

After a great round of guest bloggers for ASO Monthly in the last months, including Peter (M&C Saatchi) and Gabe (Incipia) and Maximilian (Phiture), I’m writing the November edition again. If you’re into ASO and want to do be part of ASO Monthly, let’s talk!

In the ASO Monthly-series we aim to provide App Store Marketers an objective and full overview over emerging trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, new conversion rate tricks and tool updates.

Our November ASO Overview:

November 4: Google Play adds conversion rate benchmarks

Google launched a new feature in the Play Developer Console that now allows you to benchmark your store listing view to install conversion rates against the category median.

Previously it’s been hard to size the opportunity for further app store conversion rate optimization as there were no solid benchmarks per vertical. Whilst the benchmark that Google gives you doesn’t let you zoom in on your direct competitors, it does give you a better understanding of what’s possible within your category. What’s else is that the country benchmarks can help you identify issues with your regional conversion rates, and take action on your localization for example.

There are some caveats when using the benchmark data, for which you should definitely read the great blog post that Incipia published on how to use this data.

November 7: Hundreds of Fake apps get removed from the app store

With Black Friday and the rest of the shopping season around the corner, Black Hat ASO with fake apps and rip-offs is rampant. Shady developers submitted hundreds of apps trying to get a portion of search traffic for brands like Zappos and Nordstrom, Apple finally removed them.

November 8: Google: “nearly half of searches are broad searches”

Earlier this year both Google and Apple announced that 2/3rds of all app installs that come from search (read ASO Monthly #2). We’ve pointed out that whilst this is a lot, the vast majority of those installs might be branded installs (users wanting to reinstall an app after device upgrade, TV ads, etc.).

Google however now published a blog post around semantic indexing that gives us a clue about the opportunity:

Nearly half of the queries are broad searches, meaning: 67% (via search) x ~ 45% (nearly half of which) = 30% comes via broad searches, which clearly shows the opportunity for keyword optimization.

November 9: ASO Black Hat presentation

At the eMetrics summit, I gave a 1-hour talk about the topic of Black Hat ASO and published the slides on SlideShare. In the second part of the presentation I talk about the different types of Black Hat ASO, how to recognise if a competitor is cheating their way to the top, and how to behave yourself.

My Black Hat ASO presentation at eMetrics.

November 15: App Store purchase more apps, deleted ~ 340% more apps in October

Apple started their announced clean-up of old low-quality apps: SensorTower reports that they removed ~ 47,300 apps in October. Even with the uplift in removals, the net outcome was app growth. Still, the removal of these apps — which often got served in search results above those of high-quality from active developers — is very welcome as it will hopefully bring trust back with the user that it will be possible again to discover high quality apps via search.

November 19: Google Play search results show installs links and cards

9to5google reports that Google is gradually rolling out the new cards with installs buttons that should increase UX as it’s just one click to install when looking for a specific app.

November 24: A new list of Apple’s bonus keywords

There are many words that you don’t need to target in your precious 100 characters keyword set. Incipia did some research and found up to 19 different words that you don’t need to specify. The list includes previously known words such as “app”, “free” and the category names, but then also adding new insights as “for”, “by”: http://incipia.co/post/app-marketing/15-free-aso-keyword-ranking-algorithm-keywords/

November 29: Google Play cracking down on review fraud

Product managers Andrew Ahn & Buddhika Kottahachchi from Google Play, write in the Android developers blog that they’re doubling down on fraudulent reviews. They did mention fraudulent reviews in October too, but that post was more focused towards fraudulent installs.

Further reads on ASO:

That was it from us for November 2016! Let’s discuss in the comments, and if you have noticed anything related to ASO in November or December, please let us know on Twitter or reach out via moritz.daan at phiture.com.

Please recommend the post (by clicking the ❤ button) if you like it. This way other people can find it. Thanks!