A new report from The Wall Street Journal states that Apple ranks its own apps above third-party developer in App Store search results.
More specifically, The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple’s apps ranked first in “more than 60 percent” of queries for terms like “maps.” The report then goes on to say that apps such as Music and Books rank in the first 95 percent of searches in the App Store.
Regarding Apple’s own App Store tests, the company says that its own searches brought up different results. That said, the tech giant did not release further details regarding its search results.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal regarding the report, Apple said the following:
“Apple customers have a very strong connection to our products and many of them use search as a way to find and open their apps. This customer usage is the reason Apple has strong rankings in search, and it’s the same reason Uber, Microsoft and so many others often have high rankings as well.”
Apple says that it utilizes machine learning technology to rank its results in the app store, including the company’s own apps. The company utilizes 42 factors to determine where apps rank in App Store searches but keeps the specifics of this methodology secret to prevent search result manipulation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
However, Apple did reveal that downloads, ratings, relevance and user behaviour are the four most important factors when it comes to search results in the App Store.
Apple is currently facing an antitrust investigation in Europe related to Apple Music and Apple News. The tech giant also recently attended a hearing in the U.S. in front of the House Judiciary Committee along with other big tech companies like Amazon and Facebook regarding antitrust related issues.