Incipia blog

Apple Begins Indexing In-App Purchases in App Store Search Results

Gabe Kwakyi | July 20, 2017

Source: Moritz Daan & Thomasbcn

As promised, Apple has begun indexing In-App Purchases in search results (for iOS 11 beta users), and will also showcase IAP in features as well. Let's hope that Apple works out the bugs with displaying the IAP descriptions!

This is big news, as it represents TWO paradigm shifts in the app discovery model through organic search:

  1. By allowing apps control over promotion of up to 20 IAPs, each outfitted with a name, description, and icon into the rest of the app store and beyond the app's product page, this increases the store visibility an app can obtain by 20x+, and enables apps to suck in far more users than they could before. This means that the ASO's job also expands, to not only maintaining and optimizing visibility/conversion for one app, but doing the same for each of their promoted IAPs.
  2. Whereas previously in iOS 10 and before, IAP would only rank if the user typed in an exact match search. In iOS 11 ASO, IAP now rank for partial and are permutated (at least some degree) with the other locations that keywords can rank from (title, subtitle, keywords field, developer name).

app store search in app purchase

These two changes expand the importance of keyword optimization and conversion rate optimization for IAP in iOS 11 by orders of magnitude; now, optimizing IAP names for keywords represents a larger sphere of importance, and optimizing the descriptions and icon are two brand-new new ongoing tasks necessary to get the most out of this new paradigm in store-based app visibility.

app store featured in app purchase

Yet, this also portends poorly for paid download-only, ad-monetized apps, and e-commerce apps, as these apps do not have IAP, and will now be at a disadvantage for organic visibility.

It will be interesting to see whether Apple will create top charts and search ad units for IAP as well.

The Bottom Line: Ranking IAP in search results and features opens up a massive and entirely new opportunity to boost organic visibility and raise downloads for your app, but only if your app offers IAPs. Check out this video to see more.



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Incipia is a mobile app development and marketing agency that builds and markets apps for companies, with a specialty in high-quality, stable app development and keyword-based marketing strategy, such as App Store Optimization and Apple Search Ads. For post topics, feedback or business inquiries please contact us, or send an inquiry to