Apple App store ranking manipulated by publishers using a multiple iPhones panel in China
A photograph of a Chinese woman sitting on a iPhone panel containing at least 100 iPhones, has been doing rounds on social media networks. The photo went viral but no one knew what the Chinese lady was actually doing.,
The photo which was first uploaded by a user on the Chinese social networking website Weibo clearly shows a Chinese woman sitting in front of a panel consisting of about a 100s of iPhones and she is manipulating the App store ranking.
Now, how is she doing this? Actually she is installing and uninstalling the apps continuously which would appear as if the some regular users are downloading the apps. As a result the overall ranking of the apps will shoot up considerably. Since higher the number of downloads higher will be the ratings and so will be the demand for that particular App. Consequently, real users who either opt for free downloads or paid apps decide if they would go for the App based on these ranking or ratings. Basically it seems this malpractice is done on purpose by App Developers themselves to be in the highest ranking position and misguide users.
Earlier also it was found that the App developers are using cheap Chinese labour to get this manipulation done only to upgrade their ratings. Some developers are even ready to pay $65000 per week to be in the Top 10 ratings, as stated by the Cult of Mac. This is done because these developers very well know how to increase the App ratings and get it there for the speculated time. App developers would earn a lot of money by being in the top rankings as this will not only attract more advertising but also more app users who go by the ratings of the App.
This Chinese woman seems to be sitting in a very cold room wearing a thick jacket and also the image shows another panel nearby suggesting that there must a whole chunk of people engaged in this malpractice! It seems that China’s C2C (customer to customer) e-commerce site holds numerous similar services for “app store ranking manipulation” as stated by Cult of Mac. It really seems that there is lot of scope for the entrepreneurs as this seems to be a promising business with day to day increase in the number of Apps and the App users world wide.
As for Apple, it will still have to find out a foolproof way to stop the App Developers from indulging in such malpractices to boost their App rankings.