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How to get your app noticed on Google Play (onyxbits.de)
117 points by blackpidgeon on July 22, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 25 comments

Very fun review from a guy developing some wonderful software to install needed proprietary apps outside of your phone without using the official Google Play client (so you can use adb sideload to load directly on your phone, maybe like me if you do not have it installed) for analysis or to protect your privacy, really whatever your prerogative.




I am big fan of his work and as an aspiring Java dev I enjoy looking through his code to learn.

The only Swing app I ever needed so badly to work! The DummyDroid Android advert device ID forging, also referenced on his page, is quite a treat!

This didn't exactly tell me how to get my app noticed, but how other apps of mine may help get my other apps noticed. However, they need to get noticed first first that..

We have built appbrain and launched a bunch of apps with more than 100M+ installs: http://www.appbrain.com/dev/AppTornado Our experience is that you need to generate at least a couple of thousand (better, tens of thousands) of installs by yourself before Google's discovery mechanisms kick in and allow your app to be discovered withing Google Play. Cross promotion is a good tool for that, but if you don't have apps yet, then you have to find other ways (paid cost-per-install promotion is a commonly used tactic).

I haven't gotten to 100 million installs, but I have a few Play apps and one got to 7 million installs. This post is most right on that I've seen here. Back in 2011-2012 you could have a hit without generating your own installs to it. With more competition nowadays, that happening would be much rarer.

You need to generate your own installs at first. Google will look at your uninstall ratio, and perhaps other factors. If those factors are good, Google will start pushing you up the keyword and then category rankings in various countries. Then people will start ranking your app, and that will factor in. Google has made some public announcements about what they take into account, and there are many outside accounts out there with guesses, some good, some not, at what helps.

Making an app people want helps. Having a clear, simple icon and clear app name helps. If the app does offline maps, call it Offline Maps. If several reviews and e-mails suggest adding a feature, consider adding the feature. And so on.

I have not found cross-promotion helpful In the mannernthe article says. If you run ads, and get one cent for every ten ads shown on average, then you're losing a cent every ten times you show your ad. It might be cheaper to advertise it in other venues. In some circumstances cross-promotion makes sense. You can set a minimum bid for your ad network, and show your ads when the ad network can't make that bid. Also, for new apps, I often put the first ad in as a cross-promotion ad. I see how the app does, and how much it refers. If all is well and the app is taking off and doing referrals, I put an ad network ad in the app.

I agree, this seems like a very unhelpful low-effort post. "Want to get users to use your apps? Put ads for your apps in your other apps!" is basically it. As well as putting all your apps on the same developer account (seems like that's the norm though right). It basically boils down to "Get people to use your apps and then you can get people to use another one of your apps! Simple!"

Especially irrelevant for apps which take privacy as serious as possible and don't run tracking, analytics etc. Thus adverts will definitely not be happening.

We've had that challenge with Umbrella App and have done out best to try to also have it on Google Play, Amazon App Store, F-Droid, direct .apk https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.secfirst.u...

Advertising does not require tracking or analytics.

Advertising networks usually require them, but if you are the one announcing, you can choose to (not) use whatever you want.

Getting an app "noticed" isn't particularly hard. Just make a thread for it over at XDA, Reddit, here,...

That will get you your 5 minutes^H^H^H^H seconds of internetfame already. However, it will only create a short popularity spike and you constantly have to invest in promotions to keep that up.

The blogpost doesn't tell you to put ads for your other apps into your apps (that would be stupid!), but to think of ways in which they can complement each other. That way you get effortless crosspromotion, can touch vastly different traffic sources and channel users to your main app.

> channel users to your main app.

But if your app isn't 'noticed' by the time you have your 'main app' then what users are there to channel into it? Seems like a chicken/egg type deal

You are thinking in the wrong direction. You are focusing on that "one app that will make you rich". The post tells you to think in terms of network effects: instead of asking "how can I get installs for my main app?", you should ask "how can I leverage the work I already invested in my other projects into boosting my latest project?"

Yes, there is a bit of a chicken/egg here, but getting _some_ installs for an app really is not that difficult.

> You are thinking in the wrong direction. You are focusing on that "one app that will make you rich". The post tells you to think in terms of network effects: instead of asking "how can I get installs for my main app?"

Not really, I'm focusing on the title and intro to the blog post and expecting the post to follow the questions laid out in that.

Hm, yes. What you are looking for is a "10 super secret ASO tips" list. Web's full of them.

Or a different title for this article because it assumes a lot of legwork has already been done. "How to get your app noticed when you already have a different app that has a userbase" would be more accurate.

This current title makes it seem like it's tips for getting the word around about your app (xda, reddit, HN, whatever) and leveraging that, giving away paid versions for free to a specific community etc. At least that's what I'd expect from a post titled like this.

I think you need to approach specific users (like forum moderators or reviewers of similar app) and share your app details. If they like they will respond to your app otherwise not. And also promoting in app specific places is good. For ex, xda, reddit's android subreddit where app can get noticed more quickly than posting it HN, where users have different interests.

Few days back, I posted a new app (that allows you to run mobile apps from sdcard.) which gained more comments and feedback on android specific subreddit more than HN. So narrow down to specific group or even individuals is one of the option.

> I think you need to approach specific users (like forum moderators or reviewers of similar app) and share your app details.

This will give you a short time spike in installs. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't last and you can't play that card more than once.

No, I was not suggesting that one need to ask a favor with moderators or reviewers. Genuinely try to add them to your app community and constantly seek their feedback & update the app. I was not suggesting one-time marketing effort. More like create a community around the app which includes these reviewers or moderators.

Disclosure: this is from my employer

We released a whitepaper not too long ago about App Store Optimization. I'm not very involved in mobile/client -side development but I heard the paper was well received.

Summary infographic: https://venturebeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Native-X-... Whitepaper: http://nativex.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/NativeX_ASO_Wh...

EDIT/Clarification: I'm associated with the paper referenced in my comment--not the parent article.

I put an app in your app, so you can get noticed while you get noticed.

Step 1: get a post linking to your apps on the front page of HN.


Both the adoption of android and iphone apps are ad driven, and the pros absolutely know this. So if you're starting out, you buy cheap ads. Think of all those ad supported free apps. They are the cheap ad ecosystem. If you've made it to the big leagues, you buy expensive ads. Think high production TV ads during prime time with Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is a reason there are so many app commercials on TV all over the world. They work.

Despite all the innovation driven rags to riches mythology, and although you do need an awesome app that meets the bar first, the app game is practically a marketing budget slugfest. Google and Apple provide no other options.

How is this shit post the top post right now? Uhg.

That's not all. Coming soon: "How to get your HN post noticed."

Relevant to your interests:

"Marketing hacks 4: Hacker News" - http://ineptech.com/index.html?blog&post=20

How to get your app noticed while in a trailer park in Montana

Not a good thing to do with your app, You can work with something interesting or unique to get noticed by users. People are usually searching for different kinda app, So think out of the box!

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