A new report from The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple ranks its own apps above others on the App Store. Apple has refuted the claims and says that it tested the same and the results were different.
As per the report, Apple’s own apps ranked first in “more than 60%” of basic searches which include terms like maps. Apple generates revenue on apps like Music, and Books. The report found that such apps ranked first in 95 percent of the searches.
As mentioned earlier, Apple did conduct testing of its own. The company didn’t mention the details, however, it claimed that some searches yielded results that didn’t rank Apple Apps first. Apple says that customer usage of apps is a deciding factor and this might be the reason why Apple Apps are ranked first in the App Store result page. Apple is currently facing an antitrust investigation in Europe.
“Apple customers have a very strong connection to our products and many of them use search as a way to find and open their apps,” Apple said in a statement. “This customer usage is the reason Apple has strong rankings in search, and it’s the same reason Uber, Microsoft, and so many others often have high rankings as well.”
Apple also shed light on the machine learning technology used to rank results in the App Store. The company insists that the algorithm makes no exception and works in the same way for all the apps.
Apple says it uses 42 factors to determine where apps rank in search but keep the formula secret to maintain a level playing field for developers and prevent the manipulation of results.
The four factors that most influence the rankings are downloads, ratings, relevance and “user behavior,” according to the company. User behavior, which Apple says is the most important factor, includes the amount of times users select an app after a query and also download it, a spokesman said.