The possible algorithm change was first noticed when Facebook suddenly jumped to number 1 – after an App Store refresh last week- after sitting in the 10-20 range for the past year and a half. We have a feeling this may also have to do with usage, as Facebook is possibly the app that most users come back to throughout the day. Number 2 and 3, respectively, are the highly addicting Impossible Test and Angry Birds.
Flurry’s vice president also believes that there was an algorithm change:
“We’ve been noticing changes in the Top Free rankings for at least three days now,” said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry, which serves 80,000 applications with its analytics product. “From our point of view, Apple is absolutely considering more than just downloads, which we believe is the right direction go to measure true popularity of an app.” Other pay-per-install networks tell us they’ve been detecting these changes too.
We think this is a good decision by Apple; perhaps to keep the spammy titles out of the top rankings. Apple might even use data covering how many users deleted a respective application. If the app gets one million downloads but gets deleted 500,000 times, the description/title of the app is surely lying somehow, and now it can be kept out of the top rankings.