At Cupertino they don’t stop for a moment, and the improvement of their products is constant. The App Store was going to be no less, and now we hear that Apple is testing new methods of ranking applications to improve results and avoid fraudulent lists where developers buy votes or get short download peaks.
If some time ago Apple bought Chomp to improve the App Store application search algorithm, today we learn that are testing a series of improvements to the App Store rankings based on new factors , such as user scores or user participation. This is to avoid unfair positioning where developers buy votes to get applications up the lists and increase their revenue.
This is demonstrated by a Fiksu study, which shows that the ranking of the apps started to change strangely in July , as we can see in the graph accompanying the article. Thus, apps with four or more stars benefited, as even without a large increase in downloads they reached the top positions, while those with worse scores fell to the bottom.
Until now, applications have been sorted according to download volume and speed of increase, allowing those applications with a boom of downloads in a short time to reach the top of the ranking . In addition, is now updated every 15 minutes, and is updated every three hours or so, to prevent these fraudulent techniques.
This means that Apple will now ignore download peaks , and if the download average does not remain constant over time, applications will not see their position in the list altered.
As we said before, the time users spend on applications will also be a factor from now on , as well as the number of times it is opened.
What we don’t know is if this is a simple experiment Apple is doing or will finally implement the new system , which seems very positive for users and will end up with the most pirate developers. There is nothing confirmed at the moment, so we will keep an eye on it.