Now that it has been pointed out that Apple appears to be tweaking the way it ranks apps by taking into account new factors besides just the number of downloads, market observers are adding their two cents to what Apple might be up to.
GigaOm reports that Apple appears to be actually banning apps that use pay-per-install, citing reports from Tapjoy and Pocketgamer. According to these firms, some developers have had their apps rejected because they were running incentivized app installs, a form of cross-promotion marketing for app developers, who pay to have their app installed in other apps.
ReadWriteWeb tells of another theory in circulation: Apple has also begun to factor in category rank. An app that makes it to the top of its category may have a better chance of ranking highly in the overall rankings, it said.
Inside Mobile Apps broke the original news, citing conversations it has had with pay-per-install and mobile ad networks. It pointed to the jump Facebook’s mobile app made to the No.1 position for free apps recently. For the last year-and-a-half it has lingered between the No.10 and No.20 spots.