Apple has implemented changes to its App Store search engine to compensate for small typos, misspellings, and spacing issues, reports TechCrunch. Previously, an app name had to be spelled correctly and with the proper spacing in order to bring up desired search results unless a developer thought to include misspellings in keywords.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm to us that these App Store search engine changes went into effect a few weeks ago.
The improvements could lead to increased app downloads for affected developers, particularly those with hard-to-spell or lengthy titles, as many are only now beginning to realize.
According to App Store SEO firm SearchMan, comparing App Store search data taken earlier this year to search data from November shows a notable improvement in search results for misspelled words in many cases. “Newz,” for example, used to show nine results, but with the built-in spelling correction, it now displays over 2,199.
SearchMan CEO Niren Hiro did find, however, that there’s a cap of 2,200 results on misspellings, and some erroneous searches, such as “shoping” are seeing fewer results than before as the App Store now corrects for misspellings rather than looking for keyword matches. Some misspellings are also not returning many results, as a misspelled search for “restaurant” still turns up only two apps.
While autocorrected searches are a welcome and long overdue change in the App Store, app misspellings represent only a small percentage of App Store searches. According to App Store optimization firm Straply, which tested various spellings of “Angry Birds,” correct spellings drove 98.48% of searches while misspelled variations failed to generate even a single percent of search volume.
Apple’s spell check improvements come several months after the company implemented significant changes to its App Store Top Chart ranking algorithms to boost app discoverability.