The fact that Apple is judge and party in the App Sote already read has brought some problems, let’s remember the war that started Spotify and that can still bring important consequences. In the App Store we have millions of apps available, however the search result makes only those that appear at the top of the list the most downloaded .
Now in a study by The Wall Street Journal it is analyzed that Apple applications often appear in the first places when we do a search in the App Store.
An algorithm capable of changing everything
Just like when we search for something in Google, the first positions take almost all the attention, nobody searches for an app and downloads the one that appears in nineteenth place. That’s why WSJ has decided to do a study and accuses Apple of favoring its apps to appear in the first positions.
According to their analysis, in basic searches such as “maps,” the Apple application took first place more than 60 percent of the time. Revenue-generating applications such as the Music or Books app appeared in first position in 95 percent of related searches .
One of the examples the WSJ gives of how this position is affected is that of audio books. The top spot in this type of search was held by AudioBooks.com for two years until the Apple Books app took over from the top spot, this resulted in a 25 percent decrease in daily downloads of the AudioBooks.com app.
The Wall Street Journal suggests that Apple’s dominance of the App Store gives it an advantage , especially since many default applications do not conform to the same standards that third-party applications must meet.
Apple responds by denying these accusations
As usual Apple has responded to these allegations by ensuring that all App Store appeals are governed by the same rules and that there are a total of 42 factors used to determine where applications are located in the search. The most influential factors are downloads, user ratings, relevance and user behaviour . User behaviour is the number of times users select an application after a search and then download it, as reported by Apple.
” Apple customers have a very strong connection with our products and many of them use search to find and open their applications . This type of use is the reason why Apple has a strong ranking in searches, and it is also the same reason why Uber, Microsoft and many others often have a high ranking as well “.
Apple is having to defend itself lately and has some legal battles pending over the App Store policies in the US Supreme Court to which Spotify’s accusations to the European Commission must be added. We will see how these disputes are resolved, although reports like this one I don’t think will help.