App search, discovery and visibility in the Windows Store has been called a mess more than once by both our editors and readers on this site.
Microsoft today acknowledged that they have heard developer complaints and has responded with some changes and hopefully improvements.
Microsoft has improved app visibility by making changes to the store search algorithms to deliver:
- More accurate rankings: The algorithm used to rank search results has been adjusted to give more weight to app quality signals such as the number of downloads and ratings. When searching for apps or games, customers now see apps with more downloads and higher ratings earlier in search results.
- Search enhancements: The algorithm to index apps has been updated to make apps easier to be discovered, specifically when searching by app name and related keywords. The Store will continue to limit search visibility for apps that don’t meet quality requirements, such as those that abuse keywords or are considered spam, as described in the Give Your Apps More Visibility blog .
- Support process adjustments: Developer support is reviewing tickets opened for app search and visibility issues, to confirm they are solved by the two updates mentioned above or to identify any remaining gaps before a ticket is closed.
Microsoft has also promised app review improvements aimed to combat review spam and gaming the system.
Also currently Microsoft ignores reviews left by Insiders as the bugs in apps may be Microsoft’s fault. However this is set to change in March, with reviews by Slow Ring Insiders now also being counted. Reviews created by customers using the Windows 10 Insider Preview ‘fast ring’ will continue to be hidden to protect developers from negative reviews that may be due to preview builds of Windows 10 rather than app quality.
Microsoft hopes the changes will mean more reviews visible and more accurate rankings for apps. We should be seeing the changes roll our over the next few weeks.
Read more at Microsoft here.