By Moburst | 7/25/2019 | General |Beginners

App Store Optimization and the Algorithms Behind It

App Store Optimization and the Algorithms Behind It

With millions of competing apps out there, and billions being spent on marketing, having the right ASO strategy in place has never been more important.


App Store Optimization is the difference between partaking in the app economy and claiming a share of the billions of dollars on offer—or spending time, energy and precious resources on creating an incredible app that just never gets noticed.


What is ASO? It seems like an easy question, but behind true App Store Optimization lies a complex set of algorithms that determine which apps rise to the top.

ASO Tools and the App Store Algorithms

Anyone that tells you they know exactly how the App Store algorithms work is probably not telling you the whole truth. The best answer you’ll get is from ASO experts who use their own proprietary ASO tools to get to the bottom of what ASO is–and how the algorithms behind the App Stores work.


App store rankings are based on two distinct categories: content factors, and usage factors. 


First off, the content factors are analyzed and optimized content is delivered based on the competitors and the App Store / Google Play algorithms. Then, all the stats around the usage factors need to be taken into account, analyzed and optimized to ensure the highest ranking possible.


  1. Content factors which can be directly influenced by ASO:
  • Title
  • Subtitle / Short Description
  • Keywords
  • Long Description
  • Category
  • Publisher’s name
  • Pricing
  • Localization
  • Reviews
  • Screenshots
  • Preview Video
  • Icon


  1. Usage factors which are dependent on user engagement:
  • Download trends 
  • Retention rate
  • K-factor (how viral the app is)
  • Direct links
  • Playtime
  • Crashes / Errors
  • Uninstall rate


A top ASO agency will be part of the process ensuring that both content and usage factors are optimized to achieve maximum success.

app store algorithms

These algorithms are not only weighted differently but are also dynamic. They change all the time, which makes it even more important for mobile marketing agencies to use the latest ASO tools at their disposal and keep their fingers on the pulse of the latest algorithm updates.

The Google Change

Take, for example, Google’s latest App Store algorithm update. The biggest change with this update is that now, what happens after an app is installed is also taken into account by Google’s App Store algorithm. This means that things like crashes and uninstalls are also being looked at by Google when deciding where to list an app. 


Many apps, including some big names, were taken by surprise, seeing a significant decrease in downloads. Suddenly, people were scrambling for answers, asking, “What is ASO?” while their installs tanked.


Moburst’s advanced proprietary ASO tools quickly picked up this change, but it’s a warning to developers and others in the app ecosystem about just how important even relatively minor changes to the App Store algorithms can be.
ASO algorithms

From a more technical perspective, this means that metrics that weren’t being looked at before have become super important. Besides minimizing crashes, this includes ensuring, for example, that QA has signed off on various devices, types of internet connection, and so on. Generally, app developers can think of almost everything, but there will always be use cases where users manage to “break” something. Suddenly, the more technical aspects of app development have become front-and-center when it comes to App Store optimization and ASO tools.

Cracking Apple’s App Store Algorithm

Understanding how the App Store algorithms work is the first step in ensuring that your app rises to the top in search results and rankings. 


In the post Cracking Apple’s App Store Algorithm, Moburst showed how app publishers could use the App Store changes that Apple released to their benefit. Specifically, the post outlined 6 key areas that needed attention in order to benefit from Apple’s newly released algorithm.


Some quick tips from that post:

  • Include strategic keywords in your app description, but ensure the description is not spammy
  • Selecting your correct category has become extremely important
  • Stay on top of your reviews - positive reviews carry a lot of weight
  • Investing in great creatives is worth it as it will impact both organic and paid conversion rate
  • Take note how your app appears in search results, and look to optimize this


In order to win at anything, you have to first know and understand the rules. When it comes to ASO success, the ground rules are the App Store’s algorithms, and understanding the algorithms means success is well within your reach. You can use specific, actionable insights to make changes that bear immediate results.


When it comes to the question of “what is ASO?”, it really does start with leveraging the App Store’s algorithms.

What is ASO? It Starts With The Algorithm

Having professionals on your side who are constantly monitoring these changes with their own smart ASO tools, who are on top of the latest trends and forums, and who are thought-leaders when it comes to ASO tools and App Store algorithms, is a huge benefit for any developer. 


It’s a way to ensure that the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into the making of your incredible app are all worth it and that your app is being discovered, downloaded and loved by users.


To get the right ASO partner on your side, get in touch with Moburst. We have done it for the biggest brands in the world, and we’d love to partner with you to achieve ASO success.

By Moburst | 7/25/2019 | General

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