How do app reviews influence app store ranks?

Hello to everyone!

MetricsCat couldn’t miss regular industry conference MobileOptimized held in Minsk recently.
Now we’ve decided to share with you the main points of our lecture “App ranks dependence on user reviews” omitting the general information about MetricsCat itself.

“You can not control, what you can not measure” – Tom Demarco

Different analytics tools allow you to monitor and understand the entire ecosystems. The collected information often contains answers to most of your questions. And it can cause even more questions.

Though Apple obviously doesn’t make ranking algorithm work public knowledge, but app developers have come to believe the current iteration works something like this:

Ranking = (# of installs weighted for the past few hours) + (# of installs weighted for the past few days) + REVIEWS (star rating + number of reviews) + Engagement (# of times app opened etc.) + Sales ($)

As you can see, your app success depends strongly on what you app reviews bar chart looks like: “call me” sign or a gun.

Naturally, most developers seek to have a revolver, but “call me” sign for the first time will be also ok 🙂

What happens if your gun becomes blurred and negative?

Let’s study three cases: Facebook, Moves and Twitter.


There are three curves on the timeline: average top rank, negative and positive reviews. Such a graph for any app provides MetricsCat.

As you can see on the graph the number of bad reviews jumped from almost 0 to over 4k for several days. Negative ratings exceeded positive 22 times. This triggered the largest drop in the app rank for 11 days over the past 3 months. It dropped in rankings from the 10th position to 21st.

Similar cases you can see on Moves rank anaysis :

and Twitter rank analysis graphs:

What is Google Play Top 25

The top 25 box-office application combines:

  • Most of them have at least 10 million downloads;
  • They are distributed free of charge;
  • Their positions in the overall top has little changes during the week;
  • Their average rating is about 4.3 points;
  • Most of them have at least 500,000 reviews.

How to get a gun in your app reviews bar chart?

Since app reviews influence strongly on app store rankings, you app developers should do their best to get the best ratings and reviews from users, especially at the beginning of sales. And there are several advice on how to reduce the number of negative reviews or even avoid them at all:

  • monitor your metrics;
  • do user segmentation;
  • define loyal users and ask them to rate you;
  • address the negative in a support and use it to make your app even better.

One great way to address negative reviews in your support is to integrate Feedback SDK in your app.
If user Rates the app 3 stars or less then SDK addresses his review to the support. So that only good reviews and high ratings get to the app store.

So, do great apps, motivate your users to leave good reviews and get guns!;)
See the presentation on SlideShare and don’t forget share it with your friends!

Looking forward to meet you in the next article!
Have a nice week.