Incipia blog

The App Store Keyword Algorithm Update Takes Effect

Gabe Kwakyi | September 7, 2016

Feature Image Credit: App Annie

Stay up-to-date on the latest trends in app store optimization and keyword ranking algorithms by bookmarking our ASO posts page.

Apple's recently announced new requirement that apps use titles no more than 50 characters in length has taken effect in the keyword ranking algorithms.


Myriad apps which have not upgraded to compliance with Apple's new requirements have seen rank of keywords located beyond the first 50 characters of the app title (or in the other 3 places keywords rank from) drop off. Even top charting apps like Prisma and big brands like Google have felt the impact of Apple's algorithm change.

Prisma - Loss of rank for "Instagram" & "Image Filters"

Prisma App Store Keyword Ranking


Image Credit: App Annie

One Wave App - Drop-off from US Overall and Loss of Category Rank from Keyword Algorithm Change

onewave photo locker app keyword rank change


Image Credit: App Annie

Google Maps - Loss of rank for "Nearby Places"


Google maps apple keyword ranking


Image Credit: App Annie


It's worth noting that the keyword cut-off was not a strict, 50 characters as Google still retained rank for "transit," despite the fact that it brought the total app title length to 52.

Google Maps - Sustained rank for "Transit"

google maps app store keyword ranking - transit


Image Credit: App Annie


Other noteworthy keyword points of guidance by Apple include:

  • Not using the names of competitor apps in your app listing
  • Not using the word "app" or your category's name (e.g. "shopping" for a shopping app)
  • Not using the plural or singular variant of a keyword if its singular or plural variant already exists in the app's title or keywords
  • Not using "keywords or descriptors" in your app's title (this is one of the most popular rejections and is the most difficult in terms of performing ASO while remaining in compliance)

The Bottom Line: Apple's keyword ranking algorithm is in the midst of massive change ahead of the new App Store revamp; be sure to follow the updates to avoid being adversely affected. 


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Stay up-to-date on the latest trends in app store optimization and keyword ranking algorithms by bookmarking our ASO posts page.

Incipia is a mobile app development and marketing agency that builds and markets apps for companies, with a specialty in high-quality code architecture and keyword-based marketing optimizations. For blog/video or speaking requests, business or press inquiries please contact us or send an inquiry to hello@incipia.co.