Search engine optimization for AppStore and Google Play or ASO

Search engine optimization for the AppStore and Google Play is a set of measures to improve the visibility of mobile applications in the search results of the AppStore and Google Play Market. Abbreviated as ASO - Appstore Search Optimization.

ASO has factors that are beyond your control and factors that you can control, test, and improve. You cannot really control audience engagement or positive reviews if you use unethical methods and buy reviews, but you can control the context factors of your application. By contextual factor is meant the content displayed on the application page. This content plays a major role in improving your ranking.

Some of the factors we are going to optimize are:
• Title
• Keywords
• Description

For a better understanding of what ASO means, let's compare it with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). A simplified comparison between SEO and ASO will help you understand this better.

Application Name = title tag.
Publisher Name = h1 tag.
Keyword field = normal text.

External factors of SEO are usually links, mainly because links are “guarantors of support” from other developers to your site. In the app world, these trust voices are ratings, reviews, and downloads.
How do ranking algorithms work on Google Play and AppStore?

Google Play Ranking Formulas

The ranking formula on Google Play can be roughly represented as follows: temporal relevance * t + keyword frequency in the name * u + keyword frequency in the description * v + ratings * w + total score * x + active settings in percent * y + black optimization * z.

The temporal relevance can be understood based on how Google works today.

Total score. To understand what “total score” means, you can quote the Google Play agreement on the distribution of software products: “Product Sales. The market will allow users to rate Products. Only users who have downloaded the corresponding Product will be able to rate it. Product rating will be used to determine its placement on the Market. Products rated higher are given the best placement, provided that Google may change the placement at its sole discretion.

The market can also assign you a total score for any product that has not received user ratings.
Developer’s aggregate score will be product quality information that is based on history and will be determined at Google’s discretion. For new developers without a product history, Google may use or publish performance measurements, such as uninstallations and / or returns to identify or remove products that do not meet Google’s standards. Google reserves the right to display products to consumers in a manner that Google determines at its discretion. ”

Surely black optimization or secret sauce is one of the realities of any SEO, ASO or ranking game: an unidentified factor.

Ranking formula on the App Store

The ranking formula in the App Store can be roughly represented as follows: temporal relevance * t + keyword in the name * v + keywords * v + ratings * w + downloads * x + active settings in percent * y + Apple Love * z.

The description does not affect the App Store algorithm, as it does on Google Play.

The difference between downloads and active installations. The number of downloads is always higher than active installations. Many users can download the application, but do not use it or delete it later. Active installations play a more active role than many companies expect.

Unfortunately, we can’t influence Apple Love in any way.

For better ranking, the “Application Page” should be optimized with:

• The name of the application
• Keywords of the application
• Description of the application
• Icon of the application
• Screenshots
• Rating of the application
• Reviews about the application
• Screenshots

Application Name

The name of the application plays an important role in ranking, but more important than the rating of your application. The name plays a huge role in branding and success. When you think about the name of the application, you want to come up with a catchy name that includes what your application does. If this name also includes relevant keywords that could help with ASO, then it's even better.

You have 25 characters and no more than 55 characters on Google Play for the name of your application.

On the App Store, it can be up to 255 characters long. App Store product pages will display 70 characters or less and iPhone App search results will display 35 characters or less.

The name of the app carries a lot of weight when it comes to Google ASO searches and the App Store. Keywords in the name of the application are grouped with those in the tag for the keyword. This means that you do not need to have the same keywords in the application name as in the keyword of the submitted tag.


In the App Store, the relevance of keywords can be applied to:
- The name of the application;
- Name of the developer;
- The field itself with the keywords.

In Android, the relevance of keywords can be applied to:
- The name of the application;
- Name of the developer;
- Description;
- And the comments.

So, keywords have a stronger influence on Google Play compared to the App Store.


The description of your application should be written in clear English and should have a big impact in the first two sentences. The ideal format is two paragraphs, followed by five or six marked features. Describe what your application does in the first 2 lines, mainly so that users don’t have to scroll and click “Details” to find out about your application in the App Store.

Avoid big boring blocks of content. Try to jump directly to the important features of your application and focus on how easy and fun to use it.

To optimize the description in the App Store, be sure to check for appropriate line breaks. Each line can be 120 characters followed by a carriage return. Checking the number of characters will help control the format of the text. You have only 3 lines, i.e. 360 characters to display descriptions on one screen.

Maximum length is 120 characters before word wrapping. In three lines. In some cases, 1 line with a description works better, the second with a space, and the third with a description. One line in the iPhone before word wrap (vertical orientation only) is 45 characters. Maximum 17-18 lines before the user sees the screenshots. In iPad (in horizontal orientation) - 75 characters, 4-4.5 lines to screenshots.

For Google Play, it’s important to describe your application in a short description. The short description field is limited to 80 characters, although “Full Description” will be displayed when pressed.

In a bulleted list, do not wrap words unless they exceed 45 characters per line. Thanks to Unicode, they look crisp. Attention is paid to lines 17 and 18 in the application description. They are final before the user scrolls down to see screenshots.

The description for the App Store may be less ASO focused and more aimed at attracting users with good copyright. On the other hand, a description on Google Play can be written in ASO's mind. This means that the Google algorithm gives more relevance to the placement of keywords compared to the App store.

You have 4,000 characters to come up with a good description that should include keywords, rich suggestions and, hopefully, powerful copywriting so that users download your application.


Together with the name, your application icon will be exactly what makes the first impression on users. A clear and aesthetically pleasing icon can significantly increase your visibility in the App Store. In fact, it is the icon, not the description, that prompts many users to download the application. The application icon should be crisp, clear and modern, inspiring people to click. An application icon with words usually draws less attention than an icon without words.


Here are some tips to keep in mind when working with this section:

- Use as many screenshots as possible. Google allows you to embed 8 screenshots, while the App Store - 5;
-The first screenshot that you use on the application page in the store should reflect what your application is about and what makes it special;
- If your application is available in different languages, upload screenshots for each language. This is especially true if you are selling the application outside of your country;
- On iPhone you can upload screenshots of 640x960. A good idea is to use four 160x240 screenshots with a description of each.

Graphics for Google Play in the future. The Charts field will now be displayed at the top of the app’s details in the Play Store. It is a powerful tool to showcase your creative assets and attract users. Image requirements and display tips are available under Feature Graphic - Graphic assets, screenshots, & video article.
For applications that use promo videos, the Play button is superimposed on the Feature Graphic, which users can click to start playing the video. If you have not provided a promotional video, only Graphics will be displayed.

Reviews and Rating

The higher your rating, the more likely it is that new users can download the app and share reviews.

Feedback is not only an easy way to leave feedback and rate your application.

Above is a brief squeeze of information that was collected during the work on optimizing mobile applications in search results in the App Store and Google Play. I would be glad if it would be useful to someone while working with ASO.

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