App title and search rankings

Just sharing something that I noticed.

I just published my app Drunk Green Robots. I tried to make sure ‘drinking game’ was near the first of the description since that is how most people will find it from a search. To my dismay when searching the market for terms ‘drinking game’ it was on page 17 of the search results. Behind alot of apps that didn’t have anything to do with drinking.

I noticed alot of the games near the first of the search actually had drinking game in the title. So I changed the name from ‘Drunk Green Robots’ to ‘DrunkGreenRobots-drinking game’ (used all 30 characters allowed for a title). It looks ugly but moved my app from page 17 to page 4. For an app that has 1 download and no ratings I can live with being on page 4 for now. Much more people will scroll through 4 pages than 17 looking for an app.

I never realized the title had that much weight in the search results.

I also renamed my app ‘30 Day Love Spark’ to ‘30 Day Relationship Challenge’ and it is now on the first page when you search for relationship. I changed the icon too and already saw an increase in downloads today. Time will tell if it will increase them any significant amount.

My advice including your main search terms in the app title is a must. Even if you have to go with a more generic title, I think it will help. I wasn’t ready to give up on my drunk green robots title since I’ve made alot of funny artwork around that name and think its a good hook. But for now I will take an ugly title with drinking game appended to it to get more exposure.

Personally, I wouldn’t be murdering my app title to move from page 17 of a search to page 4. Yes, the title may be more important in the search, but if it only gets you to page 4, who really cares.

I think overall app popularity has a lot to do with it as well. For the first few months after I released Tap That! Number it didn’t show up anywhere in the first few pages when searching for “tap that number”, despite having those exact words in the title. A list of completely irrelevant apps came before it.

I just checked now, and it’s up to 5th in the list for that same search. A big improvement, and the only thing that’s changed is 15,000 new downloads.

Nice improvement on your rankings. Will consider on changing mine also. Thanks.

I agree 100% that downloads and ratings play an even bigger role in app ranking. But starting off a new app doesn’t have either of those. So anything a developer can do to boost its search rankings early on is huge.

I’m happy with page 4. I’ve gone through 4 pages trying to find an app plenty of times. But I can’t say that I’ve ever scrolled through 17 pages trying to find an app from a search. Especially when alot of the apps down that low don’t even fit the search terms well. So who knows how long it will take my app to get the downloads and ratings needed to propel it to the top if it was down on page 17.

And I don’t really think I’m murdering the name. I took the space out between Drunk Green Robots making it DrunkGreenRobots, but this is exactly how I have it on the graphic on the title screen. Then I just added Drinking Game at the end which helps users identify what it is (I did remove the hyphen between). So I don’t think having the title like that will cause any users to pass over my listing vs. having it the old way. And although page 4 isn’t as good as page 1, I think my userbase will grow alot faster than being on page 17 and if I start getting a decent number of downloads then it will climb to the first or second page pretty fast.

Anyway that is just my opinion. I’m obviously not an expert in marketing my apps since my best app only has 5k downloads. I’m just trying to do anything I can to help. And to let others know that a generic name that describes their app may be better than a cool name.

Didn’t mean to be too blunt. “Murdering” just seem to get the point across. Obviously, you just tweaked your names rather than murdering them.

I am just on this current kick of not trying to spend a lot of time worrying about how hard it is to get seen on the Market and playing complicated games to get fractionally more visibility. Focus on the apps, make better apps, make more apps, effectively cross promote your apps, and I think the hits will come. At least that is what I am telling myself.


No, problem. I respect your opinion.

I’m trying out unlockable content to generate more revenue than ads alone with this app. So I’m anxious to get some users and see if it will work. I guess I’m too impatient to sit back and let the users trickle in. I do agree that spending too much time worrying about ranking and number of users or ad network performance is time that could be better spent developing more apps.

Hmm thanks for sharing this wonderful post, I really like to your thread.It is quite helpful discussion according to me, thank you so much for the impressive post…

Yes it helps, but not for popular search terms.
My app is called Note l!st (Notes app)
If you search for “note” of “notes app” my app does not show in first pages. Even so other unrelated games like “Catan” even show up before my app.
But my other app did move up in the search results with a correct name.

Everything you described call ASO. Keywords, icon, video, description, pictures this all are necessary for the sucessful ASO of your mobile application. I devote my mobile app store optimization to the marketing company. I know about ASO in general, but don’t uderstand how does it work and what to do with it.