July 4, 2012

Apple Appstore Ranking Manipulations by Some

Apple Appstore ranking manipulations by some developers/marketers.

VentureBeat writes on how some developers/marketers are manipulating the Appstore rankings. 
For a small developer who’s just released an iOS app, a position near the top of Apple’s App Store rankings could mean the difference between a million dollars in revenue and Top Ramen for dinner. So it’s no surprise that some coders try to cheat the system — and that Apple tries to stop it.

But in the battle between Apple’s police and the cheaters who employ automated bots or cheap Chinese labor to boost their rankings, some innocent startups are finding themselves banned from the marketplace — collateral damage in a high-stakes war with real money on the line.

When the app was promoted with Gtekna’s help last year, it shot from number 1,800 to the top 25 in Apple’s top free apps list. Within a couple of days, the app got between 50,000 to 100,000 new users.

But after the promotion stopped, the app dropped like a rock. Adding insult to injury, it appeared the app’s popularity was mostly manufactured: According to Flurry, an independent analytics provider, more than 70 percent of all the new users never even opened the app. Our anonymous developer concluded that Gtekna had used either bots or masses of humans who were paid small amounts to download the app.

The companies mentioned – Gtekna, Animoca and others.

App marketers include Tapjoy, PlayHaven, Flurry, Chartboost, AdParlor, Iddiction, AppODay and FreeAppADay.

Tags: appstore ranking manipulations, appstore ranking scam, gaming appstore app rankings, top iphone apps