Does Google Rank burst style or over time

Ok I have been reading so many conflicting things I hope someone here will have an answer based on experience. If you have lets say 10.000 downloads in one day will you show up in the rankings the same day . Or do you spread the downloads over a period of 5 days for 500-1,000 a day?
From my knowledge its better to do burst campaigns but I am just wondering does googleplay update in real time like it used to or its different now.

From experience, google does not seem to update its rankings in realtime. It takes them 1-2 days to even post your # of installs and daily active users to your profile. I’ve found that my rankings don’t really change until this occurs.

I’ve been experimenting with long term bursts of 10k over a 2 week timespan and I’ve found this approach is ineffective in moving up the rankings. However, if you have a great app/game, word of mouth alone should get you at least double or triple organic downloads which is still good. From my own analysis, in general, getting 10k in one day would be better than spreading it over a few weeks. This will get you into into the top 10 of Top New Free for at least a day, however you’ll need to garnish enough installs (probably close to 10k/day) on the subsequent days to maintain that spot. It’s risky especially if you don’t have all your ducks in a row (good icon/screenshots, proper category, decent app/game, near bug-free code, good user retention, etc.). Also, user retention seems to be a big deal on google play, so if people start uninstalling your app like crazy, google play will weigh that heavily in its ranking formula. I’ve seen games with only 1000+ downloads outrank a game with 50000+ downloads because of the retention factor. It’s a tough and risky market, and most developers are hush hush on their stats, so information is hard to come by. Anyhow, I threw myself into the developers gauntlet in an effort to try to make sense of it all!

Thanks I figured its still better to burst to the top and get organic downloads rather than slowly build up. Plus all the regular promotion stuff facebook,twitter, and … no thats a secret haha. Thanks for info.

Also yes I know that its a competition developers have no problem sharing basic information like posting to social networks, press releases, in forums ,etc. That stuff works but as we all know its not going to take us to the top unless we get lucky with doing all that. Then this stuff that works pretty good and put major eyeballs on your app but has risk rarely gets mentioned haha.

Yes, all the big players are doing it so it does work. Anyhow, if you have $20k lying around and you’re indie it’s real hard to take that leap of faith as so many things can go wrong. i.e. Google bans your account for some minor policy infraction you didn’t know about, ad network bans you, app has a major bug that brings ratings down, app just doesn’t cut it, etc. I think most indies just take the safe route and hope they get lucky, but getting lucky is getting harder with the huge influx of new developers…

You know I was chatting actually with a new developer (IM)) and said ok read this thread to see what experience developers do to get downloads. After 10 minutes he came back online and ask " ok how the hell do you burst downloads , you can get 10,000’s of downloads that easy?" I couldnt stop laughing!!

Haha, pretty much anything comes easy when you’ve got the cash! ROI is another story…

Actually he didnt know what PPI was haha. After I told him he understood , he thought it was from forum and facebook postings.

LMAO, oh no, you’d have to make it on the front page of something like reddit for something like that to happen.

The reason top developers are not eager to share their experience is because they paid for it with time and money, why would anyone in their right mind tell their competitor everything for free?

100% true, that is why I started to think that “forum about making money with android” sounds a little bit like oxymoron, don’t get me wrong, I like to read those posts but I am pretty aware I will not learn how to compete with serious players. I just wonder if there is any developer among us from really large company like glu, gameloft, naturalMotion and so on …

btw. in case of our first game we did absolutelly nothing besides social promotion (I wasn’t aware about PPI as well:) ) result was that we had 20-30 downloads per day in first two weeks, then suddenly it jumped to 1000 downloads per day - just doing nothing.


Well to bbe fair there are some great pieces of advice you just got to go through alll the threads and start talking to the right people. No one will tell you their secret sauce but they will give you a way to make a good meal. I made a quick postmortem on my Super Zombie Pro Run for newbie developers to get a hint as to what to look for and why to target their audience. Its here

Yes I get that, but I don’t see anything wrong with sharing knowledge. People tend to have an irrational fear that if they give up their so called “secrets” their whole business will be in danger. The reality is there is no magic pill in this business, unless you’re using illegal/unethical means which I don’t really approve of. The formula for success really amounts to this: build a product that people want, build a good product, and market the product. The marketing part is where many get stuck, and the reality is that it takes money to make money. Fear not that everyone will take your ideas and outperform you, as most people are unable or unwilling to get past the step of investing in their own product… For the rest of us, sharing ideas motivates us to create better products and optimize our strategies so we all win.

I agree with you. It really comes down to stellar product and cross promotion. The marketing game is too expensive and every single app will need a different approach, what works for one app will not work for other so it’s almost pointless discussing marketing strategies in detail.

If you have a decent bankroll, you might get away with some niche targeted campaigns but it won’t be enough to trend you in the charts, if you go for larger amount of installs it suddenly becomes too expensive.

Burst campaigns result in best outcomes, getting 10k downloads in first few days is better than spreading them over week-two weeks time.

I wonder if one of the “secret” techniques would be to cram the app Description with keywords - including copyrighted ones - or perhaps related to latest movie or whatever.

And then remove it after a day or two - before it gets noticed.

This may or may not work - i.e. it may bring down the Google police early - but this type of stuff may be employed some developers i.e. who have seen the loopholes that may exist in Google Play rankings etc. … ?

Regarding burst vs. slow campaign. Recently I had issued a new app - and thought I would try the appbrain paid install route to promote the app - even though I was apprehensive about the real value of such a thing - especially given the much higher power in comparison of keyword choice and things like that which can often do better and without spending any money.

I spent about $1000 - doing various tests - spending in U.S. market - which was costlier - costing about $0.65 per install if I didn’t ask for too many downloads a day. And I tried it in a few other places - including India and Brazil and others. These others are listed high in the inventory that appbrain shows - as being in the top 5 in terms of impressions they can deliver.

I think if I spend $1000 in one day - it may show up in rankings change - but I don’t know - it could easily be ignored by Google as well with it’s averaging algorithms perhaps.

This is the type of thing a big publisher could do i.e. try all sorts of things - and know which works best.

I spend the money over a period - and stopped right before a weekend i.e. essentially running out of the money in 5 days or so maybe.

I got the feeling that Google builds up rankings over an average of 1 or 2 days - and it is quite responsive to downloads you get on a certain day. May also be uninstall ratio - but I have no way of gauging how much that was involved.

Overall appbrain seems to give good quality users - i.e. not that many bad reviews - and perhaps even a good retention of the app - since these are non-incentivized installs.

I also got the impression that if you have the money you can drive any number of downloads to your app ! This is something which was quite new - though perhaps not surprising - but was interesting to see it in action. That is, if you have the money - you can make the installs flow almost on demand ! If you need hundreds of thousands of installs per day - perhaps then you may start to reach the limit of what appbrain can do. But it just seems as you turn on the campaign - you start to get these installs immediately - and that is perhaps the power of the number of users who are watching appbrain’s appwalls in other apps.

The overall result of the campaign was that - the app rose a bit in rankings - in New Free list for it’s category - but then when the campaign was over - it fell again.

My expectation was that spending money - may get an app out of the complete darkness - partly into the light. Or suddenly into the light - and then the app may fade a bit.

The app was getting some installs - but I was seeing that my paid installs were about the same as that or double that - depending on the campaign that day. And then when I stopped the appbrain campaign - the installs fell right back to the levels of regular installs I was getting during the campaign.

Now the question is if this will be enough to keep the app in it’s position - I suspect not - as the app did not seem to gain any real natural download rate from the promotion - and perhaps if the promotion budget had been $5000 - it is possible the app could have gone high visilibility - and could have gotten huge number of eyeballs - if the app is actually good also.

That is something I was not able to test - since I did not have the budget of something like $5000 to sink into this experiment - but big publishers probably do - and after having done this a few times they probably know if they can get a good quality app to stick - and how much it will cost.

This is something AdGuru has been trying in another thread - and could be a good line of business i.e. a type of venture capital for apps - where they pick up apps which they know ARE good or can stick - and then they spend the money to get them the exposure.

In order to do paid installs you have to essentially have a very good app to begin with - at least if you are expecting the paid installs to increase eyeballs on your app.

But at some time for you to stop campaign - the app would have to pick up on it’s own i.e. the downloads from it’s ranking in it’s Category or in New Free in it’s Category would have to provide you the downloads - so you can ease back down from your paid campaign.

For that to happen - the app - once it’s gotten the eyeballs on it - should be good enough to attract attention and hopefully attract more attention.

In that sense the app has to be such that it was a hit already - except that nobody knew about the app. So the paid installs are like the judges of a music contest like American Idol - or like the VC firms who fund small startups - though simpler than that since VCs would also guide how the startup moves etc.

This suggests the paid installs model suits those who have the money - and who can then look for talent. They then can ENSURE they get the best app out there - and then they spend the money on it.

This is the model that AdGuru was doing in that other thread - where he was picking up 5 apps for promotion - and see which one sticks etc. That is the VC model.

Because for an individual developer it is extra hard for them to be SURE that their app will be great. And plus they have already put in their risk - of time etc. into their app. If they are now to take an additional risk of promoting the app with money out of pocket - that exaggerates the risk for them. It may be better for them to just move on to the next project and hope to do better - meanwhile get the $20 per day or so from the app that failed perhaps as consolation prize.

And this suggests a direction that the app markets may take in the future - i.e. just like we have the curated Apple App Store - it may happen that we have the VCs publicly asking for app developers to show them their next app - and could be another way that app developers could get monetized. That is they go into partnership with the VCs - who take on the risk of the paid install campaigns - PROVIDED that the app is selected by some VC.

I never got a chance to answer this but yes there are alot of threads that can help you with Marketing and getting more downloads and earning more money. This thread is an excellent example of experience ,serious android developers who make money and would like to make more.
No we don’t get people from glu, gameloft,epic,etc. But on rare instances for a limited time I am sure one of us has beaten them in the rankings on googleplay a developer like me . Take a look at my latest game ( Bomb Attack Max #68) beating The Walking Dead by telltale games and The Hunger Games Adventure by Funtactix , and GLU mobile HOLLYWOOD STAR, 3 big companies that get features by google play . Verified by App Annie

We might not be the big dog but you can learn a thing or ten on this forum. Like this thread alone I learned plenty to add to what I know. You just have to read carefully and soak up all the information. There are some great developers and minds here, take advantage of the free knowledge. There is easily $50-$100 knowledge on marketing tips in this thread alone!!!

Although it may seems exciting to appear on the rankings and to “beat” other games, that does not mean anything. Ultimately, what we really need is 5000 downloads every day to make a living out of apps.

If that’s all you got out of my posts, I feel sorry.