Organic search visibility for Google Play Apps higher than iOS Apps
In summary, at this time, it feels like vying for discoverability in the Google Play store search is a good investment. Our goal is to help developers track and improve search rankings to grow their businesses. Our vast data does enable us to decode some of the unknown patterns but there’s much more to figure out in terms of search engine biases (revenue bias, social signals, ratings added, reviews entered, download velocity etc). It would benefit the app eco system if all the platforms were more transparent about their search ranking algorithms.
1) Google Play Store offers more search result accessibility for Apps
a) More results per page: Google Play store displays 7 to 8 apps per search result page across both smartphones & tablets. iPhone displays 1 result/page and iPad displays 6 results/page.
b) Easy to access deeper search results: Google Play store search result pages can scroll endlessly, allowing a user to get to rank # 25 with one flick of the finger in a second. With iOS6, each search results page takes more work and is slower to generate. Fyi, for our visibility score calculation, we assume that the loss of accessibility from one search result page to the next is 5% for Google Play versus 10% for iOS App Store.
c) Google Play offers better visibility: The combination of more apps per page & easier to access pages results in greater visibility for an App in the Google Play Store given a specific keyword & search rank
2) Google Play Store Search returns more search results
a) Bigger Index of Apps: For several “head” keywords, the number of actual search results returned inside Google Play exceeds that of iOS, even though there are more apps in total for iOS.
b) Query expansion with synonyms: Given a search query, Google Play’s search technology seems to “expand” the query and return additional results for synonyms of the original keyword entered, and as a result, the number of actual search results returned inside Google Play exceeds that of iOS.
c) Spelling correction: When certain search queries are misspelled, Google Play’s search technology seems to correct this spelling, and as a result, the number of actual search results returned inside Google Play exceeds that of iOS
3) Investing in Google Play market soon may yield great results
a) Less competition: Developers seem to be investing more resources to upgrade their iOS apps more frequently than Android Apps
b) More monetization imminent: Where Google Play lacks in end-user credit card registrations, it may make up for in carrier reverse billing. Our customers who build & market apps for the Japanese mobile markets tell us that they make more money with carrier billing than credit cards, possibly because users have fewer security concerns.
4) Search Engine Optimization & App Store Optimization in Google Play is easier
a) Keyword changes are not subject t