Issues with Search
Here is a simple example that I really have a hard time understanding.
The name of our software is "J&L Financial Planner." It shows up in the store as "JL Planner."
The description has the words "planner", "Financial Planner" and most term one would associate with an app whose sole purpose is to provide financial planning.
I don't understand why if I search with the simple term as "planner" it does not show up. It does not show up with "financial p;lanner" either. One would hope if I search for a word in the title our app would show up in the search.
It does if I search for the compete name "JL Planner"
It doesn't make much sense to me that if I search for the term "baseline" our program does not show up.
I know "retirement" is a keyword and is also in our description but if I search with retirement our app does not show up.
We have the app on all of the other stores using the same description and keywords and our app shows up with most words that have anything to do with financial planning, such as finance, financial, retirement, etc.
I know you cannot speak to other search methodologies but I need to understand why yours is so different.
We have sold very little apps from your store, maybe none, and yet on the other stores we have sold over a thousand. On the Apple store for a long time it was in the top 50 financial apps.
I'm pretty sure it is because the user simply cannot find it.
Thanks for bringing this up, as we shared in the Dev Center blog, the Store has addressed the core visibility issues that we are aware of in the last weeks. Please take read the blog, https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2016/02/22/improvements-to-windows-store-apps-and-games-visibility/, for more details, and to also find out there how to report any remaining issues.
Garry, if we do a search for financial planner (on 2/23/2016 at 5:35 pacific) you are showing up as #4. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/search/result.aspx?q=financial+planner&form=apps
I have had the same issue. I have an app out since the original launch and now it cannot be found except by name. It use to show up in top paid, and new and upcoming. I am not releasing my Windows 10 UWP app until Microsoft fixes this problem.
About 90% of my apps can not be found in the store. Even if I click on the developer name it still does not show all my apps. If i do a deep link then yes it find the apps and you can download them but it wont find them with keywords or App Name. This is the same issue for all Windows Stores. Phone 8.1, Phone 10, Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10. Every version of Windows does not show my apps. I actually had one of my apps appear and then disappear a day later. This is unacceptable and is a strong deterrent to creating apps for Windows.
Richard Walters commented
I've been very frustrated with the Store search algorithm since before Windows 10. Unfortunately, it seems to have regressed rather than improved with Windows 10. I've added another suggestion here: https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/110705-universal-windows-platform/suggestions/11072484-improve-the-store-search-results-by-placing-more-e, with more detailed info here: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsapps/en-US/955ce7d3-3828-408a-91ec-352708f26f6d/improve-the-store-search-results-by-placing-more-emphasis-on-keywords?forum=wpsubmit.
About 90% of my apps can not be found in the store. I have about 40 apps and around 8 are visible. Even if I click on the developer name it still does not show all my apps. If i do a deep link then yes it find the apps and you can download them but it wont find them with keywords or App Name. This is the same issue for all Windows Stores. Phone 8.1, Phone 10, Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10. Every version of Windows does not show my apps. I actually had one of my apps appear and then disappear a day later. This is unacceptable and is a strong deterrent to creating apps for Windows.
This issue has been around since early days of Windows 10 insider programme. Despite numerous attempt to requests for solution in the past serval months. Windows app store is the only app store that keyword search does not work on new apps or updated app. As it currently stands, mostly old and non-updated app (forgotten app by dev) are showing in keyword search result.
David Cater commented
I have successfully submitted my first UWP app to the Windows Store. It has been in the store for about a week at this point. I can find it if I search for the name of the app (Sight and Say), but I can't find it when searching on the key words I submitted in its description (sight words, flash cards, early education, Dolch, etc.). So far no one has downloaded it, and I don't expect that will change.
This is not acceptable. When Microsoft announced Windows 10 and proclaimed their support for the Windows Store, I stopped consulting to start developing apps for the Windows 10 Store.
My plan from the beginning was to develop a framework that would allow me to create high-quality UWP apps very quickly that leverage Azure as a backend. I would create multiple useful apps that would start generating revenue and give me breathing room to expand both individual apps and my library of offerings.
Now that plan is in jeopardy. It depends on people being able to find my apps when searching for them in the store. Perhaps I will spend time publicizing some of my apps through social media, and hopefully I will make enough money to hire someone to assist with that marketing. That's my goal.
But here's the thing. I am a developer. I am not a marketer. I want to write apps. That's what I'm good at, and that's what I want to do. What I don't want to do is spend half of every day tweeting, writing blog entries, posting on forums, and generally trying through sheer force of will to let the world know that my app exists. I am a developer, and I am one of the people you are hoping to attract to write apps for your systems.
So please don't make it pointless for me to continue. I find it completely unsurprising that no one has downloaded my app, since no one who is interested in what I have to offer will be able to find it, no matter what they search for. Note that my wife is a curriculum coordinator at a private school that uses Surface tablets. She has said from the beginning that their big issue is not being able to find apps on the store that will work with their curriculum. Now she is realizing that there may actually BE apps out there like mine, but that she can't find them because of the search algorithm. Microsoft talks up the fact that more than 120 million users have upgraded to Windows 10. I would love to have access to that user pool, not my 500 friends on Facebook and 17 Twitter followers.
I've worked through my savings for the past six months preparing my first app, and I'd like to start the second one. Right now I can't imagine why I would do that instead of going back to consulting. My wife is wondering the same thing. My daughter is only 17 months old, but I have to think if she were a little older she would wonder what the **** daddy is doing working so hard to write an app that no one is going to know about.
Help me help you, Microsoft.
Hi! I have developed a Kinect game app. I added all the recommended keywords for Kinect, as stated in some guide doc. I also use the Kinect term in my description several times, like "Kinect sensor", "Kinect camera", and I written a pretty thorough description overall. Now, If I search with the keyword "Kinect" my game won't show up. Actually, I don't see much Kinect related at all, only 9 apps and 2 games. I can see my game if searching for the title "Country Ramble Games". I asked one in the support and he could see about 45 apps, including my game but I think that was before some of your changes . In any case the game is useless for anyone without Kinect, so it seems vital that people interested in Kinect should be able to find it using the search term Kinect. Especially since Kinect games for Windows is new and still a narrow field. If I want a Kinect game, I would not know any other way to find a game or an app but by using the search term "Kinect". So what can I do to make my game searchable? (It may also be a problem that it is between game and app, it is a game for fun and recreation, but it could also be used in rehab, I first set it in Health category but got a message about changing the category.)
They should divulge parts of the algorithm developers have control over rather than keep it secret. Also apps should never be made unsearchable when they are highly rated, ranked, and maintained. Our app had over 45,000 reviews with a 4.6 rating. Was consistently in the top 100 for all Windows Store apps and now it has been completely made unsearchable in the Windows Store. It's been a support nightmare for us telling our users where to find a link to download the app. The team responsible for this should be fired, not because my app isn't listed but because the results for app categories in the Windows 10 Store are ridiculous. Go to the Entertainment category and refine by Best-Rated. The results are a joke. Then refine by New and Rising and you will see only 37 apps listed. Are you kidding me? Who would possibly think that an algorithm that returns results like this is a good idea? It makes the Windows Store look like a joke.
If you look at the Entertainment category under "New and Rising" there are 35 apps listed. Seriously? Out of all of the new apps the Windows Store 10 app only lists 35?? If you select Best-Rated there are only 28 apps listed! Why arent' there pages of apps listed starting at the closest to 5 star ratings? The old Windows 8.1 algorithm was so much better. It listed more relevant apps in the Best-Rated and New and Rising categories. There was nothing wrong with it. This new algorithm has dropped tons of apps out of the Windows Store entirely as is evidenced by the low numbers when you select the New and Rising and Best-Rated categories.
My app Anime Tube Unlimited was consistently ranked among the top apps in the entertainment category. It has over 40K reviews with a 4.6 average, yet it is not ranked in the Top Rated category whatsoever.
Our app has been completely removed from searching on the Windows Store and this has been a support nightmare for us. Users can no longer find it in the store and we have to point them to the deep link. An app should never be dropped from the store if a user selects the "Anyone can find the app" option when publishing their app. Users also can't find it by searching for our company name. Why drop an app completely from the store's search feature? Why would lesser apps be displayed first in the Top Rated category?
Paul Willies commented
The Search Suggestions list on the Windows Store (search box top right of the window) needs some work. It appears to be unknowable, even to MS support, who is unable to explain what it does. The official word is that there are "no guarantees" with the Search Suggestions.
Typing in words gives a short list of "search suggestions" that match either the app title or the keywords associated with the app. We have 3 apps on the store, all starting with the same two letters. On the Windows 8 store, typing those two letters returns our apps in position 1, 2 and 4. On the Windows 10 store, typing these letters only returns the no. 4 app, along with some other apps. Even if we type the full names of apps 1 and 2, these apps still do not show in the search suggestions. If you hit enter, then all our apps show in the "Available apps" view - in the same order as on the Windows 8.1 store.
The suggestion is this: Give suggestions when the words typed by the user match the name of the app. List apps in order of their popularity or download figures. Favor the name of the app in the search suggestion list, but include keywords in the algorithm so that if the user types in something that does not match the name of any app, he gets does not get an empty result list. Document the basic algorithm so it is not a mystery to us developers and to the MS Help desk alike.
Ludetis UG commented
We have the same problem with our app, too. Even if we search for the exact name, the app appears at the end of the list. Nobody scrolls so far. Searching by key facts does not help. The funny thing is that there are some apps in the list that have absolutely nothing to do with the searched keyword and even they are ranked higher than our app.
Jim Wilcox commented
I submitted this to support, who suggested I post this here. Support Ticket SRX1279194860ID
Jim Wilcox commented
I successfully published an app at the end of January 2015 to the Windows Phone (and Windows 8.1) app store. When I search for it by exact name "Wegman's" on my Lumia 1520, there's only one result, and it's not this app. (A search for "Wegman" does return results that do include my app). I have other apps with an apostrophe in the name, but they come up in searches as expected (e.g. "Erica's Run"). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! -Jim Wilcox, The Granite State Hacker
Martin Bazik commented
how about this feature:
people can search for published apps in the store.
not just those that are there already, but also for new ones published in the last week.
make the store work, or all developers will leave windows phone forever
It also happened to our Appstore in Vietnam.
Our app has been in Top 2-5 Free Games for 7 months (since launch at April 15th)
Then on Dec 12th, after some shuffles of appstore, our app completely disappeared from any list (not only top list, but also categories).
We have decent ratings, doing marketing campaign to keep it on top, then *pop*, everything gone overnight.
And this isn't the 1st time it happened. Sometime it showed up a few days later, sometimes it wasn't.
1. Our app has been on top 3 free games in Vietnam for 7 months, since our 1st launch on April 15th.
2. It got more than 10K ratings since then.
3. But on Dec 12th, after some shuffles in Windows Appstore, our app disappeared.
And this is not the 1st time, our previous app meet the same problem: climb to top 1, then disappeared.
On your WP Store search, did your app show up at all in the search results? Or just not at the top of the list?
Unfortunately, an issue recently surfaced around app indexing in the WP Store, and a number of apps just aren't showing up in search results (at all). The Store team is actively working with the search service folks to get it resolved...hopefully very soon.
I created an app for my web site, For the Love of Tech. When I submitted my app to the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store, I saw that I was unable to find my app in the Windows Phone Store when I'm searching for it by the exact name!
How can Windows Phone ever be expected to close the "app gap" when you can't even find apps you're looking for?
The idea behind search is to find what you're looking for. If someone searches for something, the exact title should come first, and then keywords should follow. If someone searches for "For the Love of Tech", do you really think that they're looking for "ZEDGE Ringtones" or "Slots Machine" or something in Chinese that I can't even read? Or do you think they're looking for For the Love of Tech?
If you search for something in the Windows 8 Store, it gives you suggestions for apps, unlike the Windows Phone 8 Store, which only gives you search suggestions. Obviously, the title holds more weight in the Windows Store than it does in the Windows Phone Store.
I honestly don't know if I can continue to support the Windows Phone Store if search doesn't improve. Why bother having an app in the Store if no one can find it even if they search by name?
Making keywords relevant is a better search experience.
I would like to see the keywords I enter into my app to be relevant. As the store is right now, the store only returns results for exact match on app titles, but not results for keywords. If I enter one of my keywords as 'speed game with cars', my app will not be returned in the list of results for this search.
I would also like to have better clarification on how keywords for my apps are created. Based on my interactions with the support team (which has been a spectacular experience, thanks Jonathon), the keywords are based on title, description, and keyword list that I enter. How much weight is given to the title over the description? How much weight is given to the keyword list that I enter, if any?
My ideal world would allow return my apps for the keyword phrases I enter.