iTunes app URLs demoted by Google? [UPDATE: A server issue is to blame]

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If you’ve ever spent some time trying to find an application in the App Store that isn’t super popular, you know that it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Therefore, many iOS users opt for a quick Google search over combing through the thousands of apps in the iOS App Store to find an application. Though you may have noticed that this method of app discovery hasn’t been as effective as it used to be, and some believe this could be Google’s doing.

Apparently, Google search results are rating iTune URLs lower and lower, meaning that they appear farther down the page than they used to. For example, if you Google “Twitter iTunes” or “Twitter App Store,” you’ll first be greeted with a bunch of irrelevant web pages and links to Twitter accounts before finally finding the link to Twitter’s iOS application.

Could this be part of a devious plan by Apple’s biggest rival in the mobile sphere, Google? Possibly. That being said, there are a lot of factors at play here. First, it’s worth noting that not every application is affected in the same way. Sure, some app URLs are appearing farther down the search results page than one would expect, but it’s certainly not a uniform thing. Second of all, your search terms and key words matter. Changing even one word can drastically what and where search results appear. What’s more, logging in and out of your Google account when searching also affects your search results.

As of now, there’s no official word from Google about this issue, but I’m very interested to see how this will play out. What do you guys think: is Google intentionally snubbing Apple’s App Store search results, or is this just a simple algorithmic mishap? Sound off in the comments section below or let me know on twitter @TiP_Jake.

UPDATE:

Google has made a comment about the issue, stating that server issues are to blame:

“We’ve been having some issues fetching pages from the iTunes web servers, and as a result some people may have had problems finding iTunes apps in search easily. We’re working with the team there to ensure search users can find what they’re looking for.”

 

 

Via: TechCrunch

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  • rhymiZ

    Well if Apple can whine about everything… why can’t other companies?

  • thombruce

    I think Google Trends illustrates the explanation quite well. Compare search quantities for ‘Apple’ and ‘Twitter’. Twitter is on the up and up, while Apple have held a fairly consistent average: http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=apple,%20twitter I expect the same can be demonstrated for most cases where certain “irrelevant” search results are showing up ahead of Apple and the App store. The simple fact being that these irrelevant results are more relevant to people’s interests.