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Google Play [Finally] Catches the App Engagement Wave

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Google Play [Finally] Catches the App Engagement Wave

Posted on

Today I spoke with Shani Rosenfelder over at AppsFlyer about Google’s announcements at GDC regarding new ranking algorithm factors. We discussed how the Google Play Store algorithm is now factoring the “stickiness” of gaming apps – specifically strong engagement, retention metrics and also a high star rating – to determine their rankings on top of the number of installs. This change rewards quality in gaming, and is a significant step forward for the industry.

Check out the full post here.


Key Notes:

Engagement is becoming a more and more important factor in ASO, which means developers need to focus even more on the quality of their app, and how the obtain, and retain users. It’s not entirely clear whether the changes Google Play announced affect Search, Top Charts or both. Google didn’t explicitly mention Search when they announced these changes. So there can be the assumption that ratings/reviews metrics were included in Search, but the Top Charts were definitely more focused on overall download numbers – until now with the addition of engagement, retention and ratings/reviews factors.

Google Play’s announcement also spells trouble for rewarded advertising (aka incentivized advertising). When the motivation of an app install is driven by a reward to install a game, retention suffers as most do not continue using the app or uninstall it altogether. The bonus of running incentivized (aka burst campaigns) – up until now – was the ability to rapidly gain a volume of users, thereby jumping up the charts and ultimately driving organic installs. So volume continues to be a factor in the Google Play algorithm but it carries a smaller weight, allowing games developed by smaller studios who don’t have the budget for massive UA campaigns the chance to shine.


The bottom line is that app retention is now more important than ever. It’s crucial for developers to focus on building quality apps, and crafting ways to re-engage and retain their existing users.


Read the full AppsFlyer article for more insights and background!

Todd Dunham | CEO & Co-Founder |

Todd Dunham
CEO & Co-Founder

An expert in the technology field, Todd owned a development company prior to co-founding The ASO Project, launching websites and applications used by hundreds of thousands of users across the globe. As CEO, Todd oversees all operational aspects of The ASO Project, and was integral in developing The ASO Project's proprietary algorithm and scoring methods used in the ASO process. Todd has vast experience with the App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon Store, deploying apps through all different categories. As a former four year NCAA Division I baseball player, Todd understands and appreciates the competitive and fast paced world of technology. Always improving our software, Todd is a large factor in keeping The ASO Project ahead of the competition.


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