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Developers Caught Using Illegitimate Methods to Boost App Ratings – Apple Issues a Warning

A worrying number of apps featured in the Top 25 charts in Apple’s App Store have been boosted through illegitimate methods, and Apple has uncovered the methods used and issued a stern warning.

Developers who are eager to get their new apps noticed in the App Store have been coerced into paying out to advertising companies who promise to get their software into the Top 25 charts on the store. The methods used to increase an app’s popularity and ratings are rather underhand, with an individual developer recently describing his experiences with one such company on a popular mobile gaming forum.

The developer was offered the chance of getting his new app into the Top 25 Free Apps chart on Apple’s App Store for just $5000 – a price much lower than many advertising agencies charge for a similar service. Things took a strange turn when the developer asked how his app would get into the charts. The app would be automatically downloaded and rated at 5 stars thousands of times using an automated bot farm. Several computers and iOS devices would constantly download the app using different Apple ID’s and add a high rating in order to get the developer’s app into the charts quickly.

In his report the developer even talks about how he was told by the phoney business that 8 apps in the Top 25 had gotten there thanks to this method. It’s astonishing how Apple had let this sort of thing happen, especially with so many apps.

The Cupertino Company has since cottoned on to the schemes and issued a stern warning via its Developer Forum website. Any developer caught engaging in this sort of practice in an attempt to bump up their app’s ratings will risk losing their membership with the Apple Developer Program, and will therefore no longer be able to submit apps to the App Store for download.

In a statement on the Developer Forum Apple stated:

“Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it. However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts.

“Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership.”

So its a firm telling off for all those cheating app promoters, but there are many more above-board ways for companies to get their new apps off the ground such as the new service from App Optimisers.

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

Source: TouchArcade Forums

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