iOS 6 Changes App Store Results
Apple recently released its latest software, iOS 6, with many changes made to how Apple devices now run. One such change was to how the App Store looks and pulls search results. With iOS 6, App Store search results are shown one at a time. Many developers are worried about this switch in fear that users won't look beyond the first result of any given search, which could greatly hinder the success of many apps that were already drowning in a sea of thousands upon thousands of available apps. What's more worrisome is that Apple determines the order in which results are listed. Essentially, developers have no idea how this is structured and, thus, have no control over it.
A recent Search Engine Land article covers this topic, and it is full of links to other articles on related topics. One such link leads to a blog post from Pixite's Eugene Kaneko that expands upon the topic of Apple's poorly reconfigured ranking algorithm. In this post, an example of a search done on "picasa" is used. The first result that now shows up for this search is for the app "Picasa HD Lite." It has a 2.5-star average from its 30 ratings. Eugene states that even though this result pulls up first, it is not the best choice in a "picasa" app. Instead, the third result, "Web Albums," is. This app has a 5-star average from 483 different ratings. It seems more logical to rank results by ratings, but the Apple App Store isn't doing that.
With this news in addition to singular results showing up on a screen at a time, app developers have a right to be apprehensive. Will this change cause users to make more educated app searches? Or will it lessen the diversity of the apps they download? Time will tell.