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Why shouldn’t 2020 be about building an App Store Optimization strategy only for downloads from organic searches? Which game generates the largest number of views for Let’s Fish (Ten Square Games) on the Similar Apps card in the United States? Can the beneficiaries of a high number of views on the Similar Apps card of the most popular games be those games with a smaller number of downloads? Why do keywords in organic searches still play such a major role in 2020? You can find out all this here in this article.

App Store Optimization (positioning mobile apps) is not just about actions aiming at increasing the visibility of a mobile game or app (work on keywords, linking to the app or game in Google Play) in search results or increasing the number of organic downloads. App Store Optimization is also about actions consisting in building the visibility of your app on the Similar Apps card in Google Play.

What is the “Similar Apps” card?

The Similar Apps card is available on Google Play and displays apps that are thematically connected to the given mobile app or game. Google Play shows as many as 170 apps or games on the Similar Apps card.

The “Similar Apps” section is visible under user reviews on the product tab of a mobile app or game. The equivalent to the Similar Apps section in the App Store is the You might also like application card.

There are also other app cards next to the Similar Apps section: Recommended for you, Similar apps, New & updated games, Google Ads campaigns (Ads – related to this application) or Recommended apps based on your recent activity. There certainly isn’t little to do when it comes to sections for browsing in Google Play.

All sections might come in handy when building an audience of potential users if you are planning to attract users through paid channels.

Where can I find the number of downloads from the Similar Apps section?

Information about the number of visits to your product page from browsing Google Play or the number of installations can be found in Google Play Console.

Unfortunately, as of today, it is not possible to separate the number of downloads achieved through browsing, e.g., the category, and the number of app downloads when browsing similar apps.

Which elements determine whether a given app will be displayed on the Similar Apps card?

There are a few elements which decide about whether the app will pop up on the Similar Apps card.

Metadata (title, brief description and description) – Whether the app is displayed to a large extent depends on the proper construction of the weight of keywords through an accurate strategy of their use in the title, the brief description and the description. Keywords from user reviews also have a major impact on organic results. You can read about the great impact of keywords on organic results in this article.

If you want your app to appear on cards of the competition in the Similar Apps section, your application must be visible in the organic results of Google Play (positions 1-100) for the same words as the competition.

If you would like to mark your presence on the Similar Apps card on the product page of a game like Match-3, Toon Blast, your app must rank high in the search results for the same keywords as the game of the competition.

Keywords ranked together in the search results are one of the most important elements decisive of the app’s appearance on the Similar Apps card.

A given keyword must maintain its rank in the leading positions for a longer time. Meanwhile, entering high positions will not contribute to your app’s popping up on the Similar Apps card.

On the above example, when we look at the search results in Google Play in the United States for the phrase “fishing games”, it turns out that the no. 1 ranking game is Fishing Clash from Ten Square Games studio.

On the Similar Apps card, this app displays the applications Let’s Fish, Monster Fishing, Rapala Fishing, Fishing Season, Professional Fishing on the five leading positions.

Let’s Fish (estimated at above 3,000 views per day) receives the largest number of views and downloads from the Similar Apps card from the game Fishing Clash.

Both games were released by the same developer (Ten Square Games).

Another Polish developer also obtains views for his game on the Similar Apps card thanks to Fishing Clash (Professional Fishing and Ultimate Fishing Simulator) – PlayWay.

All 5 apps displayed on the card are ranked in the search results (positions for the keyword “fishing games”).

On the above example, the beneficiaries of appearing on the Similar Apps card in the mobile game Coin Master (the so-called referring app, data of the United States) are games such as: Coin Kingdom, Piggy GO, Coin Trip, Island King for which Coin Master generates (estimated) from 15,200 to 35,500 views per day on its Similar Apps card.

The game Coin Kingdom has tens of thousands of views generated daily from various applications.

The largest number of views for Coin Kingdom is generated by games such as: Coin Master, Coin Dozer, Coin Trip, Coin Dozer Casino and Piggy GO.

App rating and number of ratings – one of the major elements is the user rating. This also includes the total number of ratings.

Applications that appear on the Similar Apps card have a very similar rating. The best games and apps achieve ratings of 4.5 to 4.9.

The game Huuuge Casino Slots from the Huuuge Games studio has a rating of 4.3. Can apps or games with a rating below 4 appear on the cards of games or apps with a rating above 4? Yes, they can.

Mobile game or app category – most apps or games featured on the Similar Apps card are in the same category on Google Play.

The number of app downloads and number of daily downloads – Google Play displays the highest on the Similar Apps card those games and applications that have a similar number of historical downloads, as well as a similar number of daily downloads.

Toon Blast has generated around 62 million downloads so far. Apps displayed on the Similar Apps card – Toy Blast 77 million downloads, Toy Collapse 2.6 million downloads, Toy Bomb 1.5 million downloads, Toy Brick Crush 4.5 million downloads and Jewel Blast 3.9 million downloads. On a daily basis, games in positions 1-5 generate from 1,600 to 33,000 downloads. These are, of course, estimation data based on the available market tools.

To summarize, the critical elements deciding about whether an application or a game will appear on the Similar Apps card are jointly ranked keywords (metadata optimization), rating, category, historical number of downloads and daily number of downloads.

Why is visibility in recommended apps so important?

Organic traffic on Google Play is divided into downloads from search results and app downloads from application discovery (category browsing, browsing similar applications) in Google Play.

In recent years, the number of downloads from search results has dropped (keyword cannibalization through Universal App Campaigns or UAC also contributes to this). Keyword optimization is, however, still important when it comes to the appearance of applications in organic results.

Currently, most visits to product pages (up to 90% for discovery) of games and mobile game downloads are done by browsing.

Visibility of the application in the leading positions on the Similar Apps card in the most popular games and applications is very important since it can provide a large number of organic downloads per day.

What is your App Store Optimization strategy in 2020? Are you optimizing apps and games in terms of search results, or also in terms of app discovery in Google Play?

ARPU Brothers Founder, App marketing agency for mobile apps and games

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