Apple Improves iTunes App Store Search, Asks Developers for Keywords

iTunes App Store Search

Apple Insider is reporting that iPhone developers have been contacted by Apple and asked:

enter up to 255 characters worth of keywords, separated by commas, which will be used for search in the App Store on the iPhone and iPod touch.

They're told this must be completed via iTunes Connect "as soon as possible so your application can continue to be successfully located on the App Store". What, if any measures are in place to prevent more ethically challenged developers from misappropriating key words (i.e. using names of competing products or unrelated yet popular terms) remains to be revealed.

Additionally, Apple Insider says search results have improved in general, a query for "EA" now returning 18 results for Electronic Arts games rather than previous results that included unrelated games using an abbreviation for "each".

Baby. Steps.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple Improves iTunes App Store Search, Asks Developers for Keywords


Oh, excellent. Now the developers of the "Hot Sexy Girls Clock - SALE" app don't have to put "Recommended for fans of: [every app in the app store]" on the description page of their product.

See! Even TiPB won't show that kind of smut! Why does the app store? The approvals process needs to be more opaque and convoluted!

This is going to get poisoned until it is useless at best, counterproductive at worst, the same way as meta tags in web pages were well-intentioned for search, but were ruined as useful tool by the late 90s to early 2000s.

Uh oh, we have a funny guy in here! Truth is here to spout mindless garbage that no one will listen to again! I've got to go now my sides are busting I'm laughing so hard, the irony!! It's funny because Google Voice was rejected. Haha, whew, I can't stop I'm just laughing so hard...

And next, let end users report "false" keyword searches - like competitors product names!

The keywords don't seem to work. Moreover, anything in the description field won't show up. It seems only what is in the title will show up in results. This has made the search engine even more ridiculous.
Plus apparently it is 100 characters not 255, unless I've entered it incorrectly.
Is it supposed to be:

I'm really starting to resent Apple. I have 30 apps in the store and have spent a lot of time using their developer tools. Like most of iTunes connect, the new keyword "feature" is horribly broken. It just doesn't work.
1) Once you enter keywords, you can't change them without uploading a new binary! Seriously. 2 weeks+ to update your keywords, so choose carefully.
2) Once you enter keywords, the text in your description - even the title of the app - no longer show up in searches. Just the keywords.
3) Of course, the text in the description remains searchable for apps that don't use keywords. So why on earth would I want to use them?
Apple is great a convincing customers to buy things, but iTunes Connect ABSOLUTELY SUCKS. You'd think with the kind of money they are making off of us they could hire some real developers...