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New ranking algorithm on the App Store?

02-03-2010, 01:43 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 336
New ranking algorithm on the App Store?

The word on the street today is that there's a new ranking algorithm on the App Store. Since we're seeing a lot of games that were popular awhile ago suddenly break into the top ranks again, devs are hypothesizing that a longer timeframe is being used to calculate rank. For example, total sales / total time on the App Store.

Our most popular game, Spazzle (which has been out for a year), jumped up 28 spots in Family Games today. Our other games, which have not been out as long, have not seen similar jumps upward.

Have any of you seen changes in your App Store ranking today?

Last edited by fairlady; 02-03-2010 at 02:21 PM.
02-03-2010, 01:51 PM
#2
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
Don't mean to botch your excitement, but it's not a new ranking algorithm, its just a glitch. One that we've seen in the past, and it will take a moment to address and go back to normal...just as it did last week.

edit: sp

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Last edited by bravetarget; 02-05-2010 at 01:15 PM.

02-03-2010, 02:08 PM
#3
I'm not sure it's a glitch. The previous glitches involved completely random apps shooting to the top. These are very specifically older apps (the older, the more significant the jump), with a lot of ratings, moving up for no reason at all.
02-03-2010, 02:23 PM
#4
our Save Kitty (a year old app) suddenly, completely out of a blue, appeared in top 50 arcade games. without any "warning", no reviews, nothing. just appeared there and is right in front of Canabalt as we speak

not that we complain about it
02-03-2010, 02:28 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 336
I guess only time will tell whether this is a glitch or not...

But if it isn't there are two pretty significant ramifications. If they're using all-time sales as a factor, it will be probably be harder to 1) break into the top100 lists (especially if your game does not do well right away), and 2) use advertising to move up the rankings.
02-03-2010, 02:42 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little White Bear Studios View Post
I'm not sure it's a glitch. The previous glitches involved completely random apps shooting to the top. These are very specifically older apps (the older, the more significant the jump), with a lot of ratings, moving up for no reason at all.
Yes, as we've been analyzing on Twitter for the last four or five hours it definitely appears linked to the number of reviews and/or ratings an app has. Several junk apps like the iMob 30 point pack jumped over 180 places, from invisible on the store to the #3 RPG overnight!

Still haven't determined the exact nature of this modifier... Appears it could be linked to reviews over the lifetime of the app compared to the total sales of that app. But there is something else in there I can't quite see yet.

It will be very interesting to see if it is permanent or someone at Apple messing around.

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02-03-2010, 03:02 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
It's a glitch. What sort of sense does that make to apply amount of ratings to a rank? or amount of all-time sales to a rank? Think about how impossible it would be for new apps to get exposure at that point...

Here is a solution to get a better idea of how your app is selling during this scrambled phase:

Go to iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Deals and Discovery at App Shopper and look up the top 100 grossing apps in your category, look at them in relation to other same-tier apps.

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02-03-2010, 03:12 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bravetarget View Post
It's a glitch. What sort of sense does that make to apply amount of ratings to a rank? or amount of all-time sales to a rank? Think about how impossible it would be for new apps to get exposure at that point...
We're not saying it makes sense. We're saying that we're seeing a pattern. All the other glitches have been completely random. This glitch does not have random results.
02-03-2010, 03:21 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bravetarget View Post
It's a glitch. What sort of sense does that make to apply amount of ratings to a rank? or amount of all-time sales to a rank? Think about how impossible it would be for new apps to get exposure at that point...

Here is a solution to get a better idea of how your app is selling during this scrambled phase:

Go to iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Deals and Discovery at App Shopper and look up the top 100 grossing apps in your category, look at them in relation to other same-tier apps.
To answer your questions- It doesn't make sense, but mathematically and analytically that appears to be exactly what Apple is doing today. It's certainly not a "glitch", but an actual change of the ranking algorithm. Whether they are just experimenting and will flip things back to normal in a day or not, who knows....

Why don't you take your advice and check this out:
http://appshopper.com/bestsellers/ga...hange&dir=desc

That should be convincing enough. For those that don't follow the link:

Tap Tap Revenge Classic was unranked, jumped all the way to slot #10, which shouldn't be on the board anymore, except that it happens to have about 270,000 ratings!
Enigmo was unranked, jumped all the way to slot #46, over 26,000 ratings.
Wild West Pinball was unranked, jumped in to #56, over 70,000 ratings.

I could go on and on. None of these guys had their sales go up 1000x overnight. It's a very specific effect, and older apps/games with more reviews (or ones that went free and back to paid, gaining tons of reviews) have all made tremendous gains in their categories.

Of course, the sky is not falling just yet, because they may just change it all back tomorrow. But if it's still like this next week or next month, it will be very interesting to see what happens.

Edit- Thanks LittleWhiteBear, you said it before I did, and in fewer words!

--- ChronoSoft ---
Support your roguelikes! Play Rogue Touch today!
Spirit Hunter Mineko: Demons Reach --- Work in progress! Follow us on Twitter!
02-03-2010, 03:25 PM
#10
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little White Bear Studios View Post
We're not saying it makes sense. We're saying that we're seeing a pattern. All the other glitches have been completely random. This glitch does not have random results.
I was getting the feeling people were starting to analyze how the "new ranking" algorithm works. The point I'm trying to express is nobody should analyze patterns or possible ranking formulas when it's going to change back to normal soon enough.

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