Friday, August 5, 2022

Dropbox Branding and App Store SEO Shenanigans

John Gruber:

I quickly determined that this was just the regular Dropbox app. Dropbox has simply renamed it to include “Cloud Photo Storage” in the name for SEO purposes. This apparently works so well, at the moment, that some apps are putting these descriptions before the actual name of the app in their App Store listings. App Store entrepreneur Jake Mor explicitly recommends this in a long Twitter thread delineating his current recommendations for App Store success[…]


The App Store should discourage SEO nonsense like keyword spamming, not reward it.

See also: Appfigures.

Update (2022-08-08): Greg Hurrell:

What is the point of living trapped in a walled garden if it is full of weeds?

Update (2022-08-29): Ariel Michaeli:

Indicating what the app does in its name is how you teach people who may not recognize the brand name about its benefits. That’s not keyword stuffing, that’s just business.


In first place we have Google Photos, which isn’t getting the most new ratings of the top 5, but is the only app to somewhat target this keyword. It has both parts of the keyword in its subtitle, which isn’t super strong, but… no other app targets the keyword in the name, which is why Google wins here.

That’s also why Dropbox wanted it…


App Store Optimization isn’t a way to game the algorithm but rather a way to help it. And, the algorithm needs it because it can’t just guess which apps are relevant and popular. Not without some help.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

This isn't as straight forward as "SEO bad".

Dropbox is a crappy name that tells me nothing about what kind of service they offer.

Should the app title be excluded from the search algo to appease the esthetic sensibilities of some? Then Dropbox would be punished for deciding to come up with a unique name for their app.

It's also a good illustration of how stupid computers are. It's easy for a human to decide that something goes against esthetics, but it's still (and in my opinion it always will be) impossible for an "AI" to make that kind of call.

I also think tweets #6 to #9 in the Jake Mor thread are far more interesting than the aesthetics of app names.

Stripe having 2X the retention of IAP flies in the face of the official Apple spin.

> Should the app title be excluded from the search algo to appease the esthetic sensibilities of some?

No, but the description and keywords apparently aren't weighted enough.

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