7 App Store Ranking Factors that you need to know to double your downloads

7 App Store Ranking Factors that you need to know to double your downloads

Android App Store Ranking Factors

A top position in the app store charts is a crucial factor for the success of your app, whether it is an iOS or Android App. But which are the deciding app store ranking factors?


What affects your app store rankings?

This article will analyze the main factors that affect your ranking in the charts – and how you can influence it to your favor.


About the Ranking Factors of the App Stores

Official statements about the ranking algorithms for the Play Store and the App Store are not available.

Thus, we can only analyze the factors that we can find through observation and testing.

We can not be 100% sure, that all of the factors state an exhaustive list – but we can be sure that every factor has effects on your ranking.


App Store Ranking Factor 1: App Downloads

The amount of downloads your app gets is still a key factor for your app’s ranking in both app stores.

The more users download and install your app, the higher your position in the app store ranking will be.

app store ranking

app store ranking 2018

If you have a good marketing strategy and promote your app effectively, you can even increase your downloads consistently and grow organically further from the better rankings.

One important note: the time frame that the download occurs in is still a very important factor. So-called burst downloads campaigns can multiply the effect of the download campaigns as and you are able to leverage the organic installs from the higher traffic.

A great way to achieve burst app marketing campaigns is the incent app install strategy.


Your app’s revenue has no influence on your ranking, at least in Google’s Play Store. The reason for that is the unwillingness of most Android users to download charged apps. Therefore, free apps account for the majority of app downloads in the Play Store.

The situation in Apple’s App Store is the exact opposite: here, the users pay significantly more often for their preferred apps. Hence, the amount of revenue will most likely affect the app’s ranking – at least within the Top Charts “Paid Apps”.

App Store Ranking Factor 2: App Usage

Observe closely how your users are interacting with your app! At that, the App Starts – how often your users open the app – are especially important. This is a critical factor since not only the amount of downloads affects your ranking but how often users actually use your app. Additionally, this data is helpful for measuring app engagement and retention.

App Store Ranking Factor 3: App Ratings and Reviews

Your app’s ratings and reviews are important for multiple reasons. On one side, for many people, they influence their decision of downloading the app or not. The majority of users is more inclined to download an app that has many positive ratings and convincing reviews.

On the other side, this study, for example, shows a connection between positive reviews and changes of the app store rankings. The gist is that the better the ratings of the app the lower the likelihood of a worse ranking.

App Store Ranking Factor 4: App Keyword Relevance

At this point, we face a very important part of App Store Optimization: selecting the right keywords for your app. It is important that your keywords represent the features and the benefit of your app while being relevant for search queries. This is necessary for users to be able to find your app later in the app store. This aspect is a ranking factor for both the App Store and Play Store.

But watch out for keywords that are overly popular. Oftentimes the competition for these keywords can be way too high and you seldom have the chance of reaching a good app store ranking.


App Store Ranking Factor 5: App Updates

Many people assume that an update improves the app ranking in the App Store, unlike in the Play Store, temporary.

However, every update has to pass through its own review and approval process.

Similar to the initial launch of the app, Apple could reject it at this point as well.

One little hint: you only have the possibility to change your app store keywords and other metadata in combination with an update.

So: plan every update and make sure that it works smoothly and offers an improved experience for your users.

Then, an update is a good opportunity to receive new and positive ratings and reviews.


App Store Ranking Factor 6: Retention and Number of Uninstalls of the App

While the number of downloads has a positive effect on the app ranking, the uninstalls seem to have a negative impact in the Play Store.

For instance, the chance for a feature in the category “Top New Free Apps” decreases.

Interesting to know: such a feature is only possible within the first thirty days after the app launch.

Thus, it is necessary to publish a bugless app users want to interact with straightaway.

For that, you need a precise pre-launch strategy, that increases engagement and decreases the amount of uninstalls.

App Store Ranking Factor 7: Country Targeting of the App

In both app stores, the ranking position is depending on the country. On one hand, there are country-specific rankings, and on the other global rankings.

In terms of country-specific rankings, the decisive factor is localization.

This includes important changes for different versions like translating text to the respective language or adopting regional formats for time and date.

Also, a very important step is the cultural adaption of the app.

Regarding the use of symbols and colors, different cultures could have different meanings for them as well.

Furthermore, you have to change the characters and, for some countries, the reading direction.

As an app developer, you can’t forget these steps to ensure that you address users with different origins correctly.


An Overview of the App Store Ranking Factors

Finally, we want to give you an overview of the important app store ranking factors and which store considers them.


Factors that influence your rankings
Android iOS
Paid Downloads
App Launches
Amount of Reviews
Keyword Usage
Update Frequency


With the help of this table, you can figure out which factors you have to optimize in order to reach a good ranking in your chosen app store.

What is your most important ranking factor? Did you find out something that we missed?

Share it in the comments below!


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