Apple App Store vs. Google Play Store: 3 Major ASO Differences

By Laurie Galazzo
Apple App Store vs. Google Play Store: 3 Major ASO Differences

App Store Optimization (ASO) is getting increasingly popular while the app store market is dominated by two major actors: Apple and Google. Both of these stores have their own specificities that need to be understood in order to build a strong ASO strategy. This article underlines the 3 biggest ASO differences. Read the rest of this post on AppLift blog.

Apple vs Google

Since the apparition of mobile applications, two app stores clearly shape the mobile app ecosystem. Of course, other stores are trying to grab a small bite of this delicious and promising market. However, the giant Apple App Store and its forever rival, Google Play Store, are already far ahead and will certainly remain the leaders in the coming years.

Today, we count over 1.4 million apps in both of these two stores. And it won’t stop there. The number of apps will continue to grow, as the public demand will keep on increasing. Needless to point out that being an app developer is quite challenging facing the fierce competition. Getting an app found on the store is extremely tricky, especially if there is only a small budget behind it.

So what can be done to get more downloads? The answer is: a lot of things. From app advertising to social media promotion through public relations, app marketing includes multiple effective ways that can all be combined together into a powerful marketing mix.

One of these ways consists to optimize the various aspects of the app so that it gets the best chances to drive organic traffic and downloads. In 2009, a year after the launch of the Apple App Store, the term “App Store Optimization” was introduced. By 2012 it was standardized and today this technique is getting increasingly popular.

App Store Optimization: An Effective Way To Drive Organic Downloads

ASO is the process aiming at improving the visibility and the discoverability of an app in the app store. The point is to increase the app’s rankings and therefore its natural downloads. ASO is actually often compared to SEO due the similarity of its core principle.

Working on App Store Optimization has nowadays become inevitable for any app developers or marketers wishing to succeed in the App Store.

To get ASO done effectively, it is important to try to understand how the algorithm of each app store works. Indeed, it is this algorithm that will classify and rank apps, but also make them match for specific keywords. Each app store has its own specific algorithm and therefore includes various factors and/or weights them differently. Therefore, each app store differs in terms of App store Optimization.

 No one actually knows the real equations behind these algorithms but Apple and Google have made multiple announcements that helped us to understand how their app stores algorithms work.

The rest of ASO best practices are the fruit of serious researches and tests made by experts and professionals. Although most of the elements have been found, there are still some small mysteries about the way the algorithms rank apps.

Two Stores: Multiple Similarities and Various Differences 

As we said, the mobile app store market is dominated by two major actors: Apple and Google. As an app developer or marketer it is essential to take their specificities into account before starting working on ASO. Tweaking an app for the Google Play Store or for the Apple App Store is not the same thing.

Google Play Store works more like a real search engine driven by semantics (a bit like Google itself). Therefore its algorithm often provides more precise results than the Apple App Store, which is driven by phrases essentially.

Various factors are taken into account by these two algorithms. Lots of them are the same but present some light to important differences. Here are 3 major distinctions.

1) Keywords and Description 

There is a huge difference between these two stores in terms of keywords and app description.

For iOS apps, app developers can provide a list of keywords, called the Keywords Field (100 characters max) that they would like their app to match.

However, there is no such field in the Google Play Store. (…)

Read the rest of this post on AppLift blog


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