App Store search ranking is determined by 42 factors – says Apple

Apple insists that it is not manipulating the app search results to rank its own app higher. Today, the company issued a statement where they said that they use a 42-factor system for app ranking in searches.

Wall Street Journal accused Apple company for manipulating the search results and showing its own apps first in 60% of the App Store’s categories and in 95% of Apple subscription or sales-generating categories. In fact, some of its own products rank higher than the more popular Amazon and Google.

For example, Apple Books is placed on the 168th rank but has no user rating. On the other hand, Amazon’s Kindle app that boasts a 4.8-star rating from over 1.2 million users ranks below the Apple product. Interestingly, Google Maps also sits below Apple Maps, despite the fact that Apple’s mimicry of Maps is not even in the top 100 Navigation apps category.

Over the past few months, many companies have started scrutinizing Apple’s behind-the-scenes App store dealings. For example, Spotify filed a complaint in march with the EU over the fees. Netflix also refused to join Apple TV channel services after it was pulled out of Apple’s iTunes billing system. The iPhone makers have also faced investigations by the FTC and other regulatory bodies over its revenue-sharing protocols.


In response to the inquiries, the company claims that they use a 42-factor system to determine apps search ranking. This system also includes reliance on consumer’s interest data and name matches. However, Apple refused to purge information on how the algorithm works.

Despite the claims made by Apple, the $50 billion market revenue certainly gives Apple a significant threshold over third-party apps. What do you think about the company’s app search ranking policy? Let us know in the comments!


Photo: Shutterstock

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