Apple warns developers to stop scamming the App Store with third-party marketing services
It's hard enough to find high quality apps in the App Store these days, what with 500,000+ iPhone and iPad apps to sort through, and copy-cats to contend with, so it's welcome news that Apple is cracking down on marketing scams that seek to cheat their way to the top charts. Here's what they just told developers:
Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it. However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership. Get helpful tips and resources on marketing your apps the right way from the App Store Resource Center.
This is better for users who want to find great apps and not have to sift through potentially poor quality apps artificial pushed to the top. It's better for legitimate developers who shouldn't have to worry about their hard work being overshadowed by illicit marketing scams. And, frankly, it's better for web sites like iMore who are sick and tired of refusing offers for "expedited" or "pre-scripted" reviews.
Hopefully Apple is serious about this, and serious about revoking developer accounts if they directly or indirectly try to game the system. If that sounds a little harsh, it's because the situation within the iTunes App Store needs to improve and soon. If Apple can help by cleaning out those who violate the terms by resorting to cheap marketing tricks then all the better.
It doesn't solve the core problem of app discoverability for users, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.
Source - Apple Developers