iOS6 & iPhone 5 App Store Discoverability: What changed? What can you do about it?

This is a post-iOS6 update to a previous guest post by Naoki Shibata, co-founder of, part of our 2nd accelerator batch. SearchMan is SEO for Apps, helping developers with App Store Search tracking and keyword optimization. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more content.

Problem: Why do developers seem to hate iOS6 App Store Search? In iOS5, you see 5 apps in search results and can get to #25 with one flick of the finger in a second. With iOS6 search, you see only 1 app per page so it’s really difficult for a user to discover which cool apps are in the top 100.

Solution: If you assume that web user behavior will transfer to mobile, then when it gets cumbersome for users to browse results, they will enter more descriptive phrases to get relevant results fast. eg search for “free video poker game” vs. “poker”. Longer phrases are 70% of search volume on the web (as an indicator), they’re less competitive, & and probably see higher post-click conversion (download) rates because the user explicitly searched for “free video poker game”.

Therefore, developers have a chance of capitalizing on this and taking steps to rank #1 under each of their long tail keywords and phrases.

For developers without access to a giant ad budget to boost-market their App into the Top Apple Charts, App Store SEO might be the best bet to improve discoverability inside the over crowded App Store.

Vi Tran

Vi is the Social Media Intern at 500 Startups. When she's not obsessing over what's trending and engagement rate at 500, she hustles for Startup Grind. She likes sushi.

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  • Mike

    A broader question is why do users hate the new app store? A bad search experience may lead to more long-tail searches, but it will also lead to less users searching.

  • tonio

    i dont like one app per screen.

  • earl

    i wouldn’t be surprised if a many new developers leave ios and run to android

  • nannasin smith

    it will also lead to less users searching.