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Ranking Dropped Massively After Release of Windows 8.1 Version

    Question

  • My company has a free app that has been ranked in the top 20 in it's category for approximately one year.

    We released our first Windows 8.1 specific version of the app two weeks ago with a few new features that have been well received by our users. Since this release, the app's ranking has dropped from the top 20 to around 1000. the only way to find the app is by viewing all apps in the category and filtering for Free apps then scrolling to the very end.  The other apps in the same position are ones with no ratings, no reviews and the default icon. The ranking is the same in both the Windows 8.1 store and the Windows 8.0 store.

    We have contacted customer support several times and all they will say is that the ranking is generated by an algorithm and they cannot say what affects the algorithm.  We have tried explaining that something appears to have gone wrong with the ranking but they have no interest and just repeat the same reply over and over.

    Our company has invested considerable time, effort and expense into developing a very high quality app that our users love but now our business is being ruined due to lack of downloads and we are told there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.


    • Edited by rb987654 Tuesday, December 17, 2013 9:25 AM
    Tuesday, December 17, 2013 9:24 AM

All replies

  • Users can also find your app by searching for it (did you use keywords properly?).

    The reality is that apps go up and down in rankings.

    Anyway, as you can guess, I can be "top 25" in my category (productivity) by having 1-3 sales/day (as is the case with fmail, my home grown app), but as soon as say 1 sale/day drops to 0/day for long enough, I could just as easily be at the bottom of "top paid" list.

    -Rob


    -Rob

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013 9:34 PM
  • Did you replaced the W8 version with the W8.1 one, or are both version still available in the store?

    In case you replaced the app, I think it makes sense the ranking has dropped, assuming there are still a lot more W8 installations out there than W8.1 and considering that a W8.1 app cannot be installed on W8.

    Regards,

    Stefan

    Thursday, December 19, 2013 3:35 PM
  • We released a new Windows 8.1 version of the app in addition to the existing Windows 8.0 app. The number of downloads after the release continued to be about the same in total but the rankings of both versions of the apps starting dropping immediately from the top 20. I just checked again today and the app is now listed around position 1,600 in it's category!

    It seems pretty obvious to us that there is a fault somewhere with the way the rankings are being calculated but Microsoft aren't prepared to help out in any way. Unbelievably poor service and very, very frustrating.


    • Edited by rb987654 Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:11 PM
    Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:10 PM
  • Isn't there anyone at Microsoft who can help us with this issue?
    Sunday, December 22, 2013 8:16 PM
  • Isn't there anyone at Microsoft who can help us with this issue?

    Your best chance is contacting support via e-mail/phone/chat. I believe these are community forums which means support is from other developers like me, as useless as that may sound.

    Of course, I think you said at this point finding your app is impossible in the store, which probably means you are getting no sales, and if you have no sales, I wouldn't expect them to inflate your sales and boost the app up in the top apps list randomly.

    -Rob


    -Rob

    Monday, December 23, 2013 12:48 AM
  • The number of downloads after the release continued to be about the same in total but the rankings of both versions of the apps starting dropping immediately from the top 20. I just checked again today and the app is now listed around position 1,600 in it's category!

    I'm trying to understand what may have happened and I am confused. You're saying your ranking dropped dramatically, but your downloads have remained consistent? That's hard to understand. I would assume a healthy portion of your downloads result from the fact that you used to be in the top 20.  So if you're really 1,600 now, downloads would have to be reduced, no?

    This is troubling, but I'd be a lot more concerned if you dropped to 1,600 AND were getting much fewer downloads (ad one would expect, given the ranking).

    I'm not sure how you are checking the ranking. Have you browsed the store with an account other than your own, or with one that hasn't downloaded the app? Have you checked your ranking on Distimo?

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013 5:54 PM
  • I'm trying to understand what may have happened and I am confused. You're saying your ranking dropped dramatically, but your downloads have remained consistent? That's hard to understand. I would assume a healthy portion of your downloads result from the fact that you used to be in the top 20.  So if you're really 1,600 now, downloads would have to be reduced, no?

    After the release of the Windows 8.1 version of the app the number of downloads per day increased slightly for a couple of days but despite the increase in downloads the ranking of the app started dropping immediately. As the ranking dropped the number of downloads per day also dropped correspondingly. The app went from a top 20 ranking to around position 1,600 and the downloads dropped by around 90% (we still get some downloads as the app is listed in the "new and rising" section.

    We checked the ranking with different Windows accounts and with Distimo. In fact Distimo reported the app ranking until it reached around position 980 but no longer reports the ranking for our app as they seem to only report the top 1,000 apps in each category which we are no longer in.



    Monday, December 30, 2013 11:31 AM