The effectiveness of keyword spamming on the App Store is prompting developers of many apps to change the names of their apps – including those owned by major brands…
Apple commentator John Gruber noted the trend, and was surprised by,
Last week I noticed an update for an app on my iPhone whose name I found strange: “Dropbox: Cloud Photo Storage”. I’ve had the regular Dropbox app installed for a long time. I also have Dropbox’s Paper app installed. But I never installed nor installed a dedicated photo-storing app from Dropbox.
I quickly determined it was just the regular Dropbox app. Dropbox has changed its name to “cloud photo storage” for SEO purposes.
developer Ryan Jones Responding that it has become a common thing now.
This is purely for SEO. Companies are now starting to put keywords before their brand name. This is so important. For example “Photos Cloud Storage – Dropbox”
And in fact, many other apps are doing the same thing: taking a common search term that people use when looking for an app’s category, and including those keywords in the app name. Dropbox at least did it as a suffix, but as Jones says, many apps are doing it as a prefix, which is even more effective.
He begins by recommending the use of keywords for Apple Search ads.
The key is figuring out which keywords drive high intent users, not necessarily driving profitable campaigns. ASA makes this possible with keyword attribution. Use @appfigures or @apptweak first to create a list of 100-200 related keywords.
Add all these keywords to campaigns and pay more for clicks if necessary. Again, don’t worry about profitability, that’s not the point. Send keyword attribution to @Mixpanel and see which establishes the highest paid conversion and 30d retention rates.
But then it is advised to use those keywords to rename the app.
Take the top result of #46, and change the title of your app to “Keyword App Name.” For example, “Personal Trainer FitnessAll”.
Use the top results 2 through N in your subtitles. Don’t worry about grammar, “weightlifting exercise workout” is fine.
This practice is known as “keyword spamming” or “keyword stuffing”. The worst examples are when an app includes the name of a competitor (and popular app) in its name, followed by keywords that bear little or no relation to the actual function of the app concerned.
What Dropbox and others are doing isn’t that bad, but I totally agree with Gruber’s here. The fact that App Store search is very vulnerable to keyword spamming suggests that Apple needs to act.
I find this surprising but disappointing. (More’s full formula is a bit disappointing.) The App Store should. to discourage SEO crap is like keyword spamming, not a bounty. I don’t blame developers for using inappropriate naming tricks that don’t work; I blame Apple for running a search engine that rewards such fraudsters.
Keyword spamming is just as big a pain on stock photography sites, where an annoying number of photographers include every keyword they can think of, regardless of relevance.
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