Google search reportedly 'de-ranking' direct iTunes app store links

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Reports on Tuesday point to a possible "de-ranking" of direct iTunes App Store links in Google's search results, with some titles not showing up for six or more pages unless the word "iTunes" is entered in the text box.

Google Search Ranking
Search for "Facebook" while not logged in.


First spotted by TechCrunch, the purportedly recent change in operation seems to affect apps differently and is not a wholesale downgrading of URLs leading to iTunes. A number of variables, including app popularity and whether a user is logged in with their Google account still factor into the search engine's results, though on the whole, links to Apple's App Store appear to be buried below less relevant results.

AppleInsider was able to confirm that signing into Google did cause an app link's location to change slightly, even if the app was a huge title like Facebook. In that example, a search for the term "Facebook" was executed when not logged in, resulting in a first-page hit for the Android store link to the app. The iTunes link showed up on page 7 of the query. Performing the same search after logging in, Facebook for iOS showed up on page 6, while the Android version was still in the top-5 on page one.

Interestingly, time seems to play a factor in Google's algorithm, as a repeated test of the Facebook search yielded different results just minutes after the first query was completed. While the exact nature of Google's search algorithm is largely a mystery, and the company has been known to modify the code, the "de-ranking" of direct iTunes links has raised a few eyebrows.

The results could very well be a bug in Google's latest
search algorithm, as the popularity of Apple devices and sheer number of users seeking out apps for iOS is likely large.

One method of getting to the iTunes preview of an iOS app is to include the term "iTunes" in the search bar, though this method may not be obvious to consumer unfamiliar with the Apple's App Store ecosystem.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    dmarcootdmarcoot Posts: 191member
    Given if you use google street view to look up Apples headquarters the default view is thier garbage bins in ally, I'm betting this is not a bug.
  • Reply 2 of 46
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,493member
    That's pretty seedy, even for Google. I tried many variations of searching for Facebook's iOS app and even with all of that, it only shows up on the first page when "iTunes" is part of the search query. Shame on them.

    Of course, Google's Android FB app always shows on the first page.

    I'd bet money the android apologists sipping too much of their own koolaid will somehow spin this to suit their iHating agenda.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I wonder if the media will jump on this with overwhelming negative press like they do with anything Apple?
  • Reply 4 of 46
    What's going on here? It seems that when I'm using Googles DNS I can't access Apple app store from my mac or iphone. After changing DNS, everything works fine.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    maltamalta Posts: 78member


    Easy... iTunes sucks at doing SEO for URLs


     


    iTunes: Facebook


     


     


     


    Play: Facebook


  • Reply 6 of 46
    drewys808drewys808 Posts: 542member


    All Apple needs is about 2 million servers and an algorithm (or 2)...then create their own search/ad company.  Why not?

  • Reply 7 of 46
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 486member
    Apple could buy Yahoo, improve it and make it the default search engine for iOS. Or iOS users should just change their search engine to Yahoo or Bing. Google could really suffer without iOS users.
  • Reply 8 of 46


    No problem for me. I always type "iTunes" as part of my search anyway when I'm looking for media. If Google's idea is to eventually compete against iTunes, they've got a long way to go before they can match its convenience and integration.

  • Reply 9 of 46
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member


    Well, I really want to blame google, but they are just using their strengths. Apple is no little boy, they have everything (rightfully) now. Don't like it? Then make a better search engine.


     


    What bothers me is that Apple always tries the nice guy approach and are risking nothing at all. I would like something like google secret labs, previous at&t (bell?) labs, etc from apple. If some projects are total failures (they can't be, there's always something of substance... some great ideas that can be used on other projects) what's the harm? A billion less in net profit? that's nothing for Apple. They could invest on pretyy much anything and still being not harmed (as a company) by failures. 10 billion profit each quarter and a 150 billion wallet + 0 debt. What are they waiting for? Why isn't Apple buying Tesla, space X, building a flying and free transportation infrastructure, deploying free and ultrafast internet (that's vital for the cloud, afterall), etc?


     


    Hell... Look at SAMSUNG (lol). Shit products, but selling tons of them because of ads alone. Why doesn't Apple do the same? I never saw a public Apple ad here. Meanwhile, I can't take a shit without having the word samsung 10cm away.


     


    Solar power already powers the whole planet. Why not buy and improve the whole solar industry? lol Look at solarcity!


     


    Elon Musk is the right man to be Apple's CEO.


     


    *samsung instead of "something". typo

  • Reply 10 of 46
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Well, I really want to blame google, but they are just using their strengths. Apple is no little boy, they have everything (rightfully) now. Don't like it? Then make a better search engine.

    What bothers me is that Apple always tries the nice guy approach and are risking nothing at all. I would like something like google secret labs, previous at&t (bell?) labs, etc from apple. If some projects are total failures (they can't be, there's always something of substance... some great ideas that can be used on other projects) what's the harm? A billion less in net profit? that's nothing for Apple. They could invest on pretyy much anything and still being not harmed (as a company) by failures. 10 billion profit each quarter and a 150 billion wallet + 0 debt. What are they waiting for? Why isn't Apple buying Tesla, space X, building a flying and free transportation infrastructure, deploying free and ultrafast internet (that's vital for the cloud, afterall), etc?

    Hell... Look at something. Shit products, but selling tons of them because of ads alone. Why doesn't Apple do the same? I never saw a public Apple ad here. Meanwhile, I can't take a shit without having the word samsung 10cm away.

    Just because we don't hear about "Apple labs" or because Apple doesn't run yelling about whatever stupid project they're working on doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post





    Just because we don't hear about "Apple labs" or because Apple doesn't run yelling about whatever stupid project they're working on doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


    IF you never heard of it, if it isn't being used, it does not exist.

  • Reply 12 of 46
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member


    Hell, look at this (0:13):


     


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d96eGWviEx0


     


    "watch wrestlemania like never before on your samsung devices" followed by an iPhone, an iPad and a generic TV. It's hillarious.


     


    Why isn't Apple suing them to oblivion? 

  • Reply 13 of 46
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 486member
    Why is it that the more bad publicity Google gets the higher their share value goes?

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22003551
  • Reply 14 of 46
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by malta View Post


    Easy... iTunes sucks at doing SEO for URLs


     



    You shouldn't need back links to the specific query string when your domain and subdomain are as popular as Apple.


     


    From an SEO basics perspective the page is well constructed with respect to <meta><keywords><description><title><h1><h2>


     


    Perhaps Apple should put a Google+ link on their page. That'll get them bumped up a couple pages /s

  • Reply 15 of 46
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crosslad View Post



    Why is it that the more bad publicity Google gets the higher their share value goes?



    http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22003551


    Because they are fighting with everything they can, even spending 25 billion on Android (with 0 return) just to become more relevant and impossible to avoid. That's a good thing.


     


    With Android (as long as samsung does not stab them) they have power. Dozens of companies depend on Android and please, let's not pretend that forked versions have any chance to survive if google stops developing Android. Google is inevitable.


     


    They risked half of their money on Android. If Apple spends 1/135th of their cash on something, looks like the world will end. /s


     


    Apple should monetize Android and become inevitable too. How? Create their own Android Store, deploy iTunes ecosystem and profit. Make safari for Android (it isn't hard to make a better mobile browser than chrome). Create accessories. Create a better search engine. Put the much superior (technologically, info comes with time) Apple maps on Android. On the process, advertise the hell of it, and make users "learn" how great Apple is. It worked before, on Windows.


     


    one more: Go berserk with iWork and put it on windows and Android.

  • Reply 16 of 46
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


     


    Perhaps Apple should put a Google+ link on their page. That'll get them bumped up a couple pages /s



    Lol

  • Reply 17 of 46
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post


    Because they are fighting with everything they can, even spending 25 billion on Android (with 0 return) just to become more relevant and impossible to avoid. That's a good thing.


     


    With Android (as long as samsung does not stab them) they have power. Dozens of companies depend on Android and please, let's not pretend that forked versions have any chance to survive if google stops developing Android. Google is inevitable.


     


    They risked half of their money on Android. If Apple spends 1/135th of their cash on something, looks like the world will end. /s


     


    Apple should monetize Android and become inevitable too. How? Create their own Android Store, deploy iTunes ecosystem and profit. Make safari for Android (it isn't hard to make a better mobile browser than chrome). Create accessories. Create a better search engine. Put the much superior (technologically, info comes with time) Apple maps on Android. On the process, advertise the hell of it, and make users "learn" how great Apple is. It worked before, on Windows.


     


    one more: Go berserk with iWork and put it on windows and Android.



    Hey not bad !


    Cant ever see it happening but then again - why not ?

  • Reply 18 of 46
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    Because they are fighting with everything they can, even spending 25 billion on Android (with 0 return) just to become more relevant and impossible to avoid. That's a good thing.

    With Android (as long as samsung does not stab them) they have power. Dozens of companies depend on Android and please, let's not pretend that forked versions have any chance to survive if google stops developing Android. Google is inevitable.

    They risked half of their money on Android. If Apple spends 1/135th of their cash on something, looks like the world will end. /s

    Apple should monetize Android and become inevitable too. How? Create their own Android Store, deploy iTunes ecosystem and profit. Make safari for Android (it isn't hard to make a better mobile browser than chrome). Create accessories. Create a better search engine. Put the much superior (technologically, info comes with time) Apple maps on Android. On the process, advertise the hell of it, and make users "learn" how great Apple is. It worked before, on Windows.

    one more: Go berserk with iWork and put it on windows and Android.

    What much superior technology is Apple using for it's maps? Vector graphics? The Android version of Google Maps used that technology for a while now and now the iOS version uses it.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    Well, I really want to blame google, but they are just using their strengths. Apple is no little boy, they have everything (rightfully) now. Don't like it? Then make a better search engine.

    What bothers me is that Apple always tries the nice guy approach and are risking nothing at all. I would like something like google secret labs, previous at&t (bell?) labs, etc from apple. If some projects are total failures (they can't be, there's always something of substance... some great ideas that can be used on other projects) what's the harm? A billion less in net profit? that's nothing for Apple. They could invest on pretyy much anything and still being not harmed (as a company) by failures. 10 billion profit each quarter and a 150 billion wallet + 0 debt. What are they waiting for? Why isn't Apple buying Tesla, space X, building a flying and free transportation infrastructure, deploying free and ultrafast internet (that's vital for the cloud, afterall), etc?

    Hell... Look at something. Shit products, but selling tons of them because of ads alone. Why doesn't Apple do the same? I never saw a public Apple ad here. Meanwhile, I can't take a shit without having the word samsung 10cm away.

    Solar power already powers the whole planet. Why not buy and improve the whole solar industry? lol Look at solarcity!

    Elon Musk is the right man to be Apple's CEO.

    You sure that you're not a closet Google-head? Because you want everything for free.
  • Reply 20 of 46
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Hell, look at this (0:13):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d96eGWviEx0

    "watch wrestlemania like never before on your samsung devices" followed by an iPhone, an iPad and a generic TV. It's hillarious.

    Why isn't Apple suing them to oblivion? 

    1) They say "these digital devices" and the only one with a Samsung logo is the TV, the others say mobile or tablet below them and I think they have some WWE logo on their displays.

    2) Pro tip: You can post exactly where you want people to start playing a clip by adding &t=XXhXXmXXs to the URL. For example: (Note that I excluded the hours and minutes portion as it wasn't germane. You can also use a single digit if there would be a preceding zero)
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