From 2013, i have been developing mobile apps for Android on Google Play Store and today we all believe Google Play Store is the best place for distributing and installing Android apps. This makes Google Play Store a major hub for all Android app developers and users.
Over the past 7 years working specifically on Android apps, i have gained very good understanding about how Google Play Store works and i am keep learning about it. Not only i learnt something about Play Store but i could also verify these understandings with my own experiences. Over these past years i tried all the tips and tricks for organic and inorganic performance improvements for my apps in Google Play Store.
After lot of experiments and study, today i believe only organic things will last and the lasting of app is very important for the app’s success.
Let’s come back to our main topic, Ranking.
We all know that Google Play Store’s Search results to find an app is based on a Google’s search algorithm and we also know one more thing that is, ranking and raking is a key factor in a search algorithm for ordering and managing the visibility of an app in Google Play Store.
We can call ranking is as an internal value/score given for an application by Play Store to apply a weightage in search results. App with highest rank will appear in the search result as the first result and rest of the results will be listed in the ascending order of their rank.
Why Ranking Applied?
Ranking is a final result/score given to an app after complex calculations performed by the Google Play Store’s search algorithm. It is very similar to the index value in a web search engine’s results. So defining what is a rank is simple and it may not going to change in future but the calculation logic is directly depending on some ever changing factors that affect the Google Play Store.
The sole purpose of applying raking to each application in a app store is to give good recommendations for their users and good recommendations always make the App store best. This is why raking considered as an important component in the search algorithm.
In The Period Of Rapid App Store Enhancements
Now Google Play Store is aggressively improving all its components in its distribution platform and the main component, obviously is the search algorithm, this is also getting improved continuously and aggressively.
Google Play Store is currently in a mode of improvement or competition with others or with itself. And the driving force of these changes comes from outside and the change is unpredictable for anyone. So does the changes in the Google Play Store’s search algorithm.
To make their recommendations more relevant, they are using all the weapons from their arsenal. Search algorithm is now running by the aid of Google’s AI. This AI is a continuous learning capable system and learning not only from Google Play Store but from numerous platforms, apps, software, OS etc
Then, What are the key factors that impact App’s Rank?
Results and suggestions are the two things we are seeing after entering our query to the search box.
If the user is typing something for searching an app, then Google tries to give the highest matching apps, if it is not confident about the result then it will list down similar results. This logic is same as in the web search also, only content is changing here.
As long as all our activities inside Google’s ecosystem (OS, Play Store, Play Services, GMS), Google is capable of analyzing each app’s performance continuously. This is where Google is getting usage information from and this information plays vital role in Google Play Store’s search algorithm.
Below are the key factors considered in app’s ranking.
- App’s retention – How many days users are keeping the app.
- User’s activity – No/Length of user sessions based on the app category.
- Quality – Crashes, ANRs, Network response, Frame Rendering.
- Rating & Reviews – Final user judgement also takes into account.
Algorithm has been based on these above mentioned factors and it is keep improving day by day and developers who want to invest their energy and money on paid inorganic third-party services should be very careful because the space for shortcuts to make the app popular in the Google Play Store is narrowing.
At the same time space for apps with high use and quality will increase exponentially in the very near future.
Organic Raking is Highly Reliable and Recommended
Many people feel that efforts needed for getting organic results is like climbing a hill. I would say, there is definitely competition but how you win is the difference and finally you will understand it is entirely deepening on the app you are presenting to the users.
ASO is the a process for optimizing your app’s performance in Google Play Store. An organic approach mainly correct you with right selection of titles, icons and graphics. It is like replacing opaque door with a glass door.
Organic ASO is also a big field and it provides lot of solution for app developers to make their app perform better with set of tools. All the tools require data collection, measurements and revisiting.
Google’s Play Store does not need a third party tool for optimizing apps. Its AI enabled algorithm is very smart in finding apps for its users. If you rely on third part tools they it should be a long term dependency because as i said earlier, algorithm and its factors may change anytime.
If anybody wants to track app’s ranking growth, then it is recommended to watch the above mentioned 4 metrics.
Once you learn more deep about how intelligent is Google’s search algorithm, you will start thinking that following the Play Store policies and guidelines is the real shortcut to the success.