Incipia blog

ASO Tools Encounter Issue Reporting iOS Search Popularity

Gabe Kwakyi | February 6, 2017

After the advent of Apple Search Ads, most ASO tools replaced their own proprietary search volume estimates with Apple's search popularity index. This was a good move, considering that first party data should be more accurate than 3rd party estimations, no matter how well-baked the 3rd party assumptions.

However, this has just recently led to an issue in reporting, given that it seems the search popularity data provided by Apple and the ASO tools has begun to diverge.

Note on 2/14: This issue has been fixed – the reporting error was limited to February 5th and due to Apple's search popularity API, which mistakenly provided a data point of 5 for many keywords.

search popularity API data

For example, the keyword "asphalt" has a search popularity of 57 per Apple (we can see an actual index number by using this Chrome plugin), and while Mobile Action records 57, AppTweak recorded a search popularity of 5.

apple search ads search popularity ASO tool bug

mobile action search popularity

apptweak search popularity

For the keyword "race game," Apple recorded a search popularity of 34, yet Mobile Action and AppTweak both show 5.

search popularity race game

mobile action search popularity race game

mobile action search popularity race game

Just to note: there are other keywords for which the search popularity is the same across all toolsets, indicating a sporadic issue.

Also, while search popularity numbers will change over time, the level of discrepancy should not be this significant.

The Bottom Line: If you rely on your ASO tool for providing search volume estimates on keywords, be aware that the search score/search popularity accuracy is currently buggy and can skew your analyses.

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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