Microsoft isn't only listening to its customers in designing its newest products. The Windows Insider program has helped the company create a Windows 10 that meets user's needs while Office Insiders get early access to Office 365 bits as well as the opportunity to provide feedback on its progress. Microsoft is also actively seeking feedback from their developers, and using that to make a Windows Store experience that helps improve the visibility of developers' apps and thus their success in finding customers for them.
In a blog post today, Microsoft outlines some of the steps they taken to improve app visibility in the Windows Store. The following are some of the improvements to go along with the changes to Store listing and search algorithms that Microsoft applied when redesigning the Windows Store back when Windows 10 was launched.
- More accurate rankings: The algorithm used to rank search results has been adjusted to give more weight to app quality signals such as the number of downloads and ratings. When searching for apps or games, customers now see apps with more downloads and higher ratings earlier in search results.
- Search enhancements: The algorithm to index apps has been updated to make apps easier to be discovered, specifically when searching by app name and related keywords. The Store will continue to limit search visibility for apps that don’t meet quality requirements, such as those that abuse keywords or are considered spam, as described in the Give Your Apps More Visibility blog .
- Support process adjustments: Developer support is reviewing tickets opened for app search and visibility issues, to confirm they are solved by the two updates mentioned above or to identify any remaining gaps before a ticket is closed.
In addition, Microsoft will be streamlining the app review process. Specifically, the company will be showing reviews by Windows 10 Insider Preview slow ring users in the Dev Center and the Windows Store, while continuing to hide reviews by Windows 10 Insider Preview fast ring users. This way, the Windows Store will show more reviews while hiding those that might be impacted by changes in newer preview builds of Windows 10.
Microsoft has a ton of information available to developers on making their apps more visible. Follow the company's guidelines, and open support tickets for apps that are having issues. And be sure to let us at WinBeta know what developers can do to make their apps more visible and more successful--happier developers are more likely to make great apps for the Windows 10 ecosystem, and that's something that benefits us all.