Think creatively: 50% of 6 million monthly Google Play search terms are misspelled

Google's 5 tips for better discovery

Think creatively: 50% of 6 million monthly Google Play search terms are misspelled

Because many apps live and die based on discovery, developers are understandably curious about how iOS and Google Play searches actually work.

Google took some time during its I/O event in San Francisco to talk frankly about search on Google Play.

Starting from the top down, Google's Ankit Jain noted that "it's important to be creative as well as detailed" with an app's title as the title is the most important piece of metadata that will lead a search to an app.

Lost and found

Once the title is sorted, Jain recommends that the first sentence of an app's description should tell a user what to expect from an app.

Encouraging developers to think as users, Jain stresses "Right up front, make sure your user knows what your app is about".

After this, it's recommended to include pictures and video - but being direct and descriptive early on will lead to easier discovery.

Jain also disclosed some figures about Google Play searches, noting that 12 percent of daily active users search for app every day while 50 percent of DAUs search weekly.

In a given month, Google Play sees six million unique phrases searched for.

So what can you do to maximize your chances of app discovery? Jain provides five quick tips.

  • Designed for tablets: Jain highly recommends that developers with a tablet app get the "designed for tablets" designation, which was announced as a new feature for the Google Play Store at I/O.
  • Ensure helpful anchor text: most articles from news outlets don't use a helpful anchor text that links to an app. He recommends developers work with writers to write something "interesting" in these links.
  • Avoid common mistakes: don't choose an app name that's a variant of an existing popular app. Also, pick something that's easy to spell. Jain noted that of the six million unique phrases searched monthly, 50 percent of the queries are misspelled.
  • Make your Android application package (APK) smaller: Smaller APKs get installed more frequently.
  • Create the viral loop for your app: A. Get users to review your apps. B. Don’t get users to leave your app. This can be accomplished by adding an in-app Google+ +1 API, and in the future, Google will release an API for in-app user reviews. C. Integrate Google Play's newly launched game services.
Matthew Diener
Matthew Diener
Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.