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Apps Disappeared from the Store

    Question

  • Two of our apps disappeared from the Store by searches and ranking.  They can still be found through the deep link.  I contacted developer support and they are telling me this is a normal function of the store.  Neither app can be found by clicking on our company name.  One of the apps was consistently ranked in the top in the Entertainment category for the past couple of years, now it is gone.  Both apps are functioning like I selected the second visibility option: When publishing Hide this app in the Store. Customers with a direct link to the app’s listing can still download it, except on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

    In fact I selected the Anyone can find your app in the Store option when publishing.  This appears to be a bug in the indexing algorithm because surely no platform would completely drop an app from the search feature in their store.  You should in the very least be able to find an app by searching for it by title or by clicking on the company name.  If I select the Anyone can find your app in the Store, then ANYONE should be able to find it.

    I've been told that I need to promote my apps through social media and the deep link, which is ridiculous.  Developers publish to stores so the stores can promote the app through searches and rankings.





    Saturday, August 29, 2015 12:11 PM

All replies

  • Two of our apps disappeared from the Store by searches and ranking.  They can still be found through the deep link.  I contacted developer support and they are telling me this is a normal function of the store.  Neither app can be found by clicking on our company name.  One of the apps was consistently ranked in the top in the Entertainment category for the past couple of years, now it is gone.  Both apps are functioning like I selected the second visibility option: When publishing Hide this app in the Store. Customers with a direct link to the app’s listing can still download it, except on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

    In fact I selected the Anyone can find your app in the Store option when publishing.  This appears to be a bug in the indexing algorithm because surely no platform would completely drop an app from the search feature in their store.  You should in the very least be able to find an app by searching for it by title or by clicking on the company name.  If I select the Anyone can find your app in the Store, then ANYONE should be able to find it.

    I've been told that I need to promote my apps through social media and the deep link, which is ridiculous.  Developers publish to stores so the stores can promote the app through searches and rankings.





    I have encountered similar situation. It suddenly disappeared from top rank in entertainment category. The reason I suspect is that my app prompt users to rate/review the app, so it got a very high review/download ratio, thus the algorithm flagged it. This shows you how retarded MS algorithm is. I almost gave up on Windows Phone development after this incident. 

    Fast forward 2 years later, my app still does not reappear in top rank, typing a few letter of its name still does not give suggestion about the existence of the app.

    Saturday, August 29, 2015 1:17 PM
  • No answer from Microsoft??  In the past this was reported as a bug.  Is this being worked on again?
    Friday, September 11, 2015 1:03 PM

  • I have encountered similar situation. It suddenly disappeared from top rank in entertainment category. The reason I suspect is that my app prompt users to rate/review the app, so it got a very high review/download ratio, thus the algorithm flagged it. This shows you how retarded MS algorithm is. I almost gave up on Windows Phone development after this incident. 

    Fast forward 2 years later, my app still does not reappear in top rank, typing a few letter of its name still does not give suggestion about the existence of the app.

    I don't think the review/download ratio has anything to do with it.  The reason being is that my apps have only disappeared from the store right after I updated them.  Microsoft claims it is the search indexer dropping the app, but if that were the case it would happen in between updates and it always happens right after an update.  Either the tester is doing something wrong or they are purposefully flagging the app so it behaves like the 2nd Visibility option "When publishing Hide this app in the Store. Customers with a direct link to the app’s listing can still download it, except on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.".

    Friday, September 11, 2015 1:40 PM
  • I am in a similar situation. My app has disappeared from rankings and download numbers have gone down to currently ~2% of what was before, within just 2 days (decline started august 28, flat lining at august 30 for about a week, now very slowly recovering). It looks like it starts appearing in the rankings of a few markets again, but at a very very bad rank position.

    I do not understand why this is happening. I guess that due to some Windows 10 store changes, the ranking algorithm dropped some apps. I could accept that, if the rank position would more or less be restored afterwards. I mean, my download and review numbers did not change, so I would expect it to keep a decent rank position. But why is the rank position so bad suddenly? In AppAnnie I can see that it completely disappeared from almost all market rankings, and now it comes back in a few of them but at a very bad position, not nearly what it was before...

    Friday, September 11, 2015 6:53 PM
  • I can't accept it at all.  A Windows Store app should never be completely unsearchable via the Windows Store app.  In the very least you should be able to find it if you search for the exact app title or a listing of all of the company's apps if you searched for the company.  Being told to use social media and Bing to promote your app by the marketplace team is ridiculous.  Users will not use Google or Bing to search for your app if it drops from the Windows Store, they will simply think your app is gone.  I know because that is what all our support emails are telling us.

    If you search "windows store app disappeared", you will find several from the past year.  Last year, it seems that Microsoft admitted it was an issue and worked to fix it.  Yet know, the marketplace team is saying it is FAD.

    When a developer selects the "Anyone can find your app in the Storeoption before submitting their app, there is a reasonable expectation that ANYONE can find your app in the Windows Store.

    Friday, September 11, 2015 7:44 PM
  • Yeah, Windows store is really bad, full of bugs. Combined with the low market share, no wonder why no one develops for MS.
    Friday, September 11, 2015 8:42 PM
  • I am in a similar position, for long time my app has had a decent ranking in the Shopping category and it still is in Windows 8 store, but in Windows 10 store it is not possible to browse the store and find my app, it can only be found while searching. In windows 8 store and Windows Online store my app is browsable.

    It looks like Windows 10 store app is no longer displaying all apps when browsing. When selecting a category the Refine settings is showing "Top Free" as default, this is showing some select (featured?) apps and can't be unselected to display ALL apps.

    Browsing the Windows 10 store is more dead than Windows 8 store ever was.

    Saturday, September 12, 2015 12:58 PM
  • I'm wondering if any of you that have the same issue have IAP in your app that can't be purchased on Windows 10 but can be purchased on Windows 8.1?  I think this is a side effect of being unlisted.  Our 2 apps listed in the Windows Store have no issues with users purchasing IAP on Windows 10, but the 2 apps that became unlisted can't purchase IAP on Windows 10.
    • Edited by AEON Soft Monday, September 14, 2015 1:34 PM
    Monday, September 14, 2015 12:59 PM
  • Yes indeed I also had such problems with my IAP. I have solved it this way: First I submitted an update to the IAP with visibility to "Not available for purchase" and waited for it to complete. Then I submitted a second update to the IAP with visibility "Available for purchase". It took a while and my app was not available for purchase for over a week (although both updates completed within 2 days). But now the problem seems to be solved and people can purchase the app again. But my app's ranking remains very bad until now with no appearance in most of the markets at all.

    Monday, September 14, 2015 2:24 PM
  • To be fair, I think that they changed the algorithms on the 30th of August. I've seen similar behaviour. Since September my best performing app began to flat line. I'm not sure what it is, but I don't think visibility is the actual issue.
    Saturday, September 19, 2015 1:58 PM
  • My app is now recovering slowly. Download numbers are still only ~30% of what they used to be before the incident. But at least they are going upwards again, and the app is being listed again in the results (although in a very poor position).

    Sure they changed something at that date, but it does not explain why many apps continued to work normally, while others completely dropped out of the system. To me it looks like they change something (maybe in the algorithms or wherever) and it did not play well with some apps, maybe because the app's configuration (regions, platforms). So all these apps were just dropped and are now fed back into the system again (after the system was fixed to also work with these apps). And our apps seem to be treated like new apps, with poor store rankings. This is what is really bad about it. I would not mind a one week flatline in downloads. But if my download numbers are considerably reduced for a long time (and it looks like they will be), then it is a big problem for me.

    Saturday, September 19, 2015 7:12 PM
  • Don't expect it to get any better until there is a serious response to Microsoft and what they've done on the frontline.

    Currently if you go to the Mobile App page, you can't search only for mobile apps, but it's worse than that. If you click one of the Categories in the Mobile App page, you are also served up PC only apps.

    I don't even know HOW to feedback to Microsoft that they've kicked their mobile developers in the teeth with their recent changes.

    Wednesday, September 23, 2015 2:33 PM