Searching for specific apps on the iTunes App Store is pretty easy and straightforward. However if you’re looking for an app that has a particularly generic-sounding name, or maybe you’re just looking for a “fitness” related app, the search results will be many and sometimes not entirely relevant either.
The good news is that Apple has finally done something about it. According to a report from TechCrunch, it looks like Apple has made changes to the iTunes App Store’s search algorithm in which it will now return smarter and more relevant search results. According to the report, these changes were apparently introduced on the 3rd of November, but have been most noticeable in the past few days.
For example one of the more notable changes is when you search for “Twitter”. In the past apps like Instagram appeared in the search results, presumably because it is considered to be a social media app. However the report now claims that a search for “Twitter” will yield results from third-party Twitter apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific, which are obviously a lot more relevant to what the user is looking for.
These changes are no doubt great for end-users, but Dan Held of mobile growth consulting firm Analytica believes that this is a sign that Apple wants to develop its own PageRank algorithm. Speaking to TechCrunch, Held says, “It’s their attempt at understanding how different apps rank relative to each other. I think this is an attempt to move in that direction…the first step would probably be to benchmark where you rank compared to your competitors.”