How Bugsee Can Help Protect Your Mobile App Rankings

David Bell
January 17, 2019

The user experience is golden. Without the user, a mobile app cannot succeed. This is why it is important to ensure bugs do not drive users away.

Bugs ruin the user experience and damage the developer’s brand. Users with low patience and high standards are quick to leave nasty reviews and uninstall. Additionally, in an effort to protect their users, the App Store and Google Play Store will reduce an app’s rankings if it has too many performance issues. Ultimately, bugs can sabotage an app’s success. Thankfully, with Bugsee, developers can protect their user experience and increase their chances of succeeding.

  1. How Bugs Hurt App Rankings
  2. The Ripple Effect of Lost Rankings
  3. How Bugsee Helps You Fix App Errors


How Bugs Hurt App Rankings

The App Store and Google Play Store look at many factors when determining where to rank an app; one facet being performance. For example, Google Play’s algorithm incorporates “app quality signals in [its] ranking algorithms,” some of which includes uninstalls, crashes and user retention. Google Product Manager Andrew Anh has also stated that “apps that exhibit more frequent crashes” are considered for downranking. Apple takes a similar approach, punishing rankings when an app’s performance begins suffering. While both stores have not publicly revealed how these signals are interpreted, they do allow developers to monitor their crash rates via Google Play’s Developer Console and the App Store Connect’s App Analytics page.

In addition to performance, the App Store and Google Play algorithms crawl reviews for mentions of poor performance. Negative reviews aren’t just analyzed by the algorithm, but by users. Search rankings in general are determined by an app’s click through rate, with installs having more weight. When users click an app, it pings the algorithm. The algorithm also gets pinged when a user scrolls past an app, then clicks on or installs another further back in rankings. Apps with lower click-through rates than others will inevitably lose their rankings. Apps with negative reviews can see a parallel in decreased rankings and decreased installs. This is because negative reviews and low star ratings damage conversion.

Bugs don’t only cause mechanical problems, they cause conversion ones.


The Ripple Effect of Lost Rankings

When an app loses rankings, its rivals face less competition, increasing their chances to gain more app downloads and greater market share. According to Gummicube, when performing well for a given keyword, apps have increased chances to rank better for related keywords; the opposite is also true. In other words, when bugs start hitting an app, it’s possible that rankings all around will begin dropping. This also means that when competitors start performing better (thanks to less competition), they may begin seeing increased rankings for multiple keywords.

Overall, bugs don’t just damage keyword rankings, they can lead to increased competitor rankings. To protect the company’s App Store Optimization (ASO) efforts and to prevent competitors from gaining greater markets share, it’s important to resolve bugs fast. This is where Bugsee becomes a prime tool for developers.


How Bugsee Helps You Fix App Errors

When bugs appear, they should be resolved fast before they wreck too much havoc. Bugsee helps developers by notifying them immediately when a bug strikes or an app crashes. Developers are also given a link to data surrounding the crash, along with a play-by-play video showing the actions a user took leading up to the crash. Bugsee gives developers an immediate and holistic view of the situation, helping remove virtually all email back-and-forth with users and beta testers. This saves tremendous amounts of time and energy, and helps teams resolve bugs efficiently and effectively.

By resolving bugs quickly, developers are showing they value their users and are actively refining their app experience. On the backend, engineering teams are better able to focus on adding and refining features, rather than researching why crashes are occurring in the first place. Even better, it keeps the app’s rankings safe. With millions of apps live on both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, the app space is grossly competitive, and developers want to make sure that they’re doing everything possible to ensure their app breaks through the noise. By resolving bugs fast, developers are showing that they are more relevant than other apps. With this relevancy, comes visibility.

To watch a live demo on how Bugsee works, click here. For more information on Gummicube and App Store Optimization click here.