Microsoft Finally Announces Changes To Store Listings And Search Algorithms

Store

The search experience which was made available in the universal Store in Windows 10 preview was not up to the mark. Today, Microsoft announced that changes are coming in the new Windows Store: lists and search algorithms, a new web Store, changes to the app listings and updates to ratings and reviews.

 In Windows 10, Microsoft uses new algorithms to determine search results and top lists for the Store (optimized for more digital content types). This change has an impact on how Store lists are shown and search results are returned for Windows 10:

  • Search algorithms optimized for apps, games, movies, and music rather than the general web search used earlier. These algorithms take a more holistic approach when evaluating an app’s relevancy to the search terms, factoring in attributes such as click-through rates in the Store listings, ratings and reviews, keywords, and total downloads.
  • Apps that customers have previously acquired are not currently filtered out of searches or app lists. As a result, customers may see apps they already own in the Store lists and recommendations. We are planning to remove previously-owned apps from the recommendations in a future update.
  • Lists will not include ‘top grossing.’ The lists available today include ‘top free,’ ‘top paid,’ ‘best rated,’ and ‘new and rising.’ The ‘top grossing’ app list, which is currently available in the Store on Windows 8, will be temporarily unavailable, with plans to bring back this capability in a future update.
  • Store lists always show Apps first, then Games, then Music, then Movies. When users search for items, the order of the results might not be the ideal, and that is also a focus area for future improvement.
  • Irrelevant keywords can hurt your app’s rating as the algorithms detect inaccurate keywords, the app could potentially drop in the rankings.

Microsoft recently launched a new web Store and confirmed that some of the previously existing functionality is not available in this initial launch. For example, there is no way to see the version number of the app and the last date it was updated in the new web Store. Other changes related to web Store.

  • New web Store and URL redirects: The previous Store URLs windows.microsoft.com and www.windowsphone.com now redirect customers to the new web Store apps.microsoft.com. Existing URLs and links continue to work and automatically redirect customers to the new Store.
  • Installing apps from web Store not available. Installing apps to a Windows Phone when using the Store in a PC browser is not supported. Apps must be installed from the device itself.
  •  Logged out customers may see both Windows and Windows Phone apps. If a customer is not logged in to their Microsoft account on Windows 8.x or Windows 7, the web Store will show both the Windows and Windows Phone apps. This means the customer may see duplicate apps (for non-linked apps).
  • URL to show all apps from one publisher no longer available. The URLs that pointed to all apps from a single publisher in Windows Phone (e.g. https://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/store/publishers?publisherId=xxx) are no longer supported. Customers can select a publisher’s name in an app’s product description page to view a list of the publisher’s apps.

Read more about it here.

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