About a month ago, Google changed its ranking algorithm which is used to identify which sites get to the top of the viewing area. For some companies, like Demand Studios, or Brighthub, the change was a concern since sites like these depend on traffic views to make money.
Now Apple has also decided to make some changes to its App placement algorithm meaning that Apps will be at the top of the list and others further on down. Being at the top means that the App will more likely see more hits and downloads, and hence more sales.
The Change and the Issue
Apple’s New Algorithm for Apps is now based on how often applications are used (once downloaded) by daily and monthly users to better signify their ranking.
At issue here is that, the move has a dramatic impact not just on games and applications, which depend on placement on Apple’s list for new downloads and purchases but also the businesses that have sprung up to promote them. Behind this is that it also provide more accuracy about what’s hot at any given moment than downloads alone.
But for all of this the bottom line is that there’s still very little proof outside of some out-of-character rank jumping to point that there has been an overwhelming shift in how much it takes for an application to get on and stay on the list. There are a number of factors, word of mouth, cost, interest in the app, ease of use. These determine the scale and speed of those jumps. The real question remains what else is a part of the mix that determines what takes an app to the top, and if Apple is trying to keep that a moving target. It is not to say that the approach is helter-skelter or random, but how an app is perceived by the public and becomes a success is not wholly understood.